Local veteran hikes Appalachian Trail in honor of 9/11 victims, to raise money for fire department

Local News

KULPMONT, NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — One man is going the extra mile to raise money for a local fire station.

Walter Lutz is walking 1,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail to pay tribute to first responders that passed on September 11, 2001, while at the same time raising money for the Kulpmont Fire Department to get a new fire truck.

So far, Lutz has walked about 180 miles and will have the hike complete by September 11th. His journey began in Clingman’s Dome, North Carolina and will end in Pine Grove.

Lutz says he has been hiking most of his life and started his mission in May.

“So far, I’ve walked about 180 miles of painful up and down 3,000 to 4,000 miles,” Lutz said.

Despite a minor injury, Lutz is still determined to hike the full 1,000 miles by September 11th. He says that as a U.S. veteran, he has always admired those who serve, especially first responders. That is why he decide to give back to his hometown.

“I don’t want anyone to ever forget what a volunteer fireman does. He doesn’t get paid, he volunteers to run into burning buildings to save people. It doesn’t get any better than that,” Lutz said.

The Kulpmont assistant fire chief says Lutz has always supported their volunteer firefighters and he’s amazed by his determination. Right now, the GoFundMe page has about $2,400 in donations and the goal is $25,000.

“For him to at least go out and try to raise money to help us is unbelievable,” Lutz.

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