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August 2, 2013

Luke members prepare to walk across country

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Senior Airman DAVID OWSIANKA
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Retired Chief Master Sgt. Barry Lewis walks around the track during the Viking Challenge April 5 at the Luke Air Force Base track. Lewis walked during the 10-hour event in preparation for walking from Phoenix to his home town of Fredericktown, Penn.

What is the first thing you intend to do after retiring? Sleep in? Take a vacation? Pick up a hobby? Well, two members of Luke Air Force Base are not doing any of those.

Barry Lewis, 62nd Fighter Squadron contracting officer representative chief, and Joseph Roxey, 21st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, will embark on a 2,200 mile walk from Phoenix to Fredericktown, Penn., in a more than 70-day span in 2015 to raise money for the Lupus Foundation and a diabetes foundation.

Lewis began walking after taking his current job in 2004.

“I would walk to and from all of my daily meetings,” he said. “I averaged walking five miles a day on base. In January 2012 I decided to walk across the United States for the Lupus Foundation because of my wife’s illness.”

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of the body, primarily the skin, joints, blood and kidneys.

When Roxey heard about Lewis’ future journey, thoughts began to cross his mind about doing it as well.
“I’ve known him for a long time, and he has a lot of fortitude when it comes to setting his mind to completing things,” Roxey said. “Several months went by, and I continued to think about his plan to walk cross country. Finally, I told him I would walk with him.”

Both Luke members currently have different training methods for the walk. Lewis walks 8 to 15 miles once a week and approximately 30 miles every month. Roxey performs warrior training (previously referred to as CrossFit), rowing and running.

“We plan to walk eight to 10 hours every day and hopefully walk 30 to 40 miles each day,” Lewis said.
The walkers will have a person following them and carrying gear such as tents and other necessary basic supplies for camping.

Both are looking forward to doing their extensive walk.

“I’m excited and anxious for the walk,” Roxey said. “I believe this walk will give us a sense of pride and accomplishment, but most importantly raise money for the lupus and diabetes foundations.”




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