SHELBY — If you see "Captain America" walking across Montana the next few days, it’s not a promotion for a Marvel movie. The man in the costume, Allen Mullins, is walking across the country, on a mission to help a veteran in need.
"I go across the country and I find VFWs, American Legions, or soldiers or people that need help. I organize a walk through a GoFundMe, or some way of them getting funds, and I go do the walk for them. Right now, I'm doing a walk for an Air Force medic that served over 20 years. It's going to help him get a place to live,” Mullins said.
Mullins started his cross-country walk from Washington to Virginia in July and has been raising money for retired Air Force medic MSgt. Gary Jorgens for about the past three months.
"The trailer he has is from the 1950s and it has multiple types of black mold and stuff,” Mullins said. "I’m not a vet. I'm just a citizen that loves my country and that loves the ones who served it. Too many of them have fallen through the cracks."
As for the costume? "It's a conversation piece,” Mullins explained.
He's been walking across the country helping people since 2009, and actually stopped in Great Falls in 2011 (see below).
Mullins started Tuesday in Shelby with a stop at the veterans memorial where he met with some veterans.
"I think during the current times with COVID, one of the things that is really prevalent, especially in the state of Montana, is the amount of veteran suicides. So bringing awareness to veterans that are in stress, I think, is very important,” said Air Force veteran Bob Longcake.
Mullins said, "Our government and our system has failed them, but we as people of this country don't have to. I'm doing my part by standing up and trying to find them and help them out. All I do is encourage you, if you see a veteran or anyone that needs help, instead of judging them open your arms and your heart to them and help them.”
Mullins, who is from Georgia, began walking for veterans in 2009, giving up his job as a house framer. He was inspired to reach out to military veterans when he realized that many veterans of the Vietnam War are not treated with respect. Click here to follow his journey on Facebook.
A brief interview with Mullins in Great Falls from 2011: