A Michigan veteran planning a cross-country effort to read aloud the names of all U.S. soldiers killed in the line of duty is just a few days away from his deadline.
The ambitious project is set to take place this Sunday, on Veteran's Day. At 210 locations in 41 different states, hundreds of people will join in the effort to read aloud the 1.2 million names of all the servicemen and women who died fighting for our country, going as far back as the Civil War.
Former Marine Eric Calley, the brother of Lt. Governor Brian Calley, says it's a way for Americans to honor the fallen, as well as our veterans who are still here. Calley, along with fellow Marine veteran James Sperry, created a non-profit to help veterans in the U.S. deal with what happened overseas. They hope to serve as a resource for a new generation of veterans coming home from the war in Iraq.
"A lot of these names haven't been mentioned in over 100 years," said Sperry. "They've been forgotten for an extremely long time, and we don't want that to happen with our generation of veterans."
This year's reading is smaller than the two had originally planned, but Calley says it will serve as a template for the years to come.
"We have the 200 locations already, and now we are just building on for 600," said Calley. "But with those 200 locations that we are reading, it will still create that massive support network across America to reach those younger veterans to make that difference in their lives, to either make their lives better or to help them transition back into society."
The two former Marines have created a website to reach out to other veterans, and to keep people up-to-date on Sunday's reading. Calley says they still need more people in Michigan to volunteer just an hour or so of their time to read names. In Mid-Michigan, there will be readings in Williamston, Eaton Rapids, Lansing, Charlotte, Owosso, and Ionia.
To find the location closest to you, visit: www.the-fight-continues.com