WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 12, 2010, 12:01 PM

World War II Veteran completes 35-mile Honor Walk

Abercrombie, ND (WDAY TV) - What a finish! Late this afternoon, 86-year old Tom Selleys completed his Veterans Honor Walk from Fargo to Ft. Abercrombie. The World War Two Veteran says it is something he has been thinking about doing for years. He walked the 35-miles in biting wind and cold, but as he approached the end of his walk there was one big surprise. A crowd of children lined Main Street in Abercrombie to honor him.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

“You can see him, you can see the flag.”

Clutching American flags and holding hand painted heart felt banners, elementary students from Richland Elementary waited for the hero.

“He is doing something for our nation.”

Tom Selleys methodically marched his way down highway 81, capping off is long journey south.

“I think it is cool how old he is and why he is doing this.”

This 86-year old bound and determined to make this walk in honor of those who have served. In Abercrombie there was a heroes welcome. They lined the streets, 140 children welcoming the old solider as he prepared to reach the fort.

“It's great.”

TOMM SELLEYSWORLD WAR TWO VETERAN: “Made it worth while. I hope they remember the veterans.”

As Tom prepared to continue, he paused, the children were singing the national anthem.

“Great music, great for our country and our veterans.”

And then forward. What a homecoming with a fire truck escort and color guard as he marched down Main Street. Norman Rockwell would have put it in canvas, but what a moment for the man who joined the army at age 16 to fight in the pacific and what a lesson to those who today can thank him.

A promise made to himself finally fulfilled, as one of the Army's finest made it to the Fort. The children never stopped cheering him on, walking beside him, singing to him and perhaps the best honor of all, one generation thanking another.

Tom walked a big chunk of the journey on Veteran's Day, but the strong winds battered his flag so much, he couldn't hang on to it. So he started again at sunrise today to finish the 35 mile journey.