Sittin’ on G waitin’ on O
Well, the last few months have been chaos for my wife and I, but I figured this post was past due and I needed to carve out some time to get it written.
Anyways, let’s start the introduction!
We are Wella and Justin Jay, or the Jays! Both Wella and I served four years in the US Army, both having deployed to Afghanistan. We were stationed in Alaska for the entire duration of our time in the Army, and loved it so much we decided to make it home!
What made you decide to thru hike?
Shortly after transitioning from the Army, we both began our civilian careers. Though we both enjoyed our respective workplaces, we determined that this transitional phase would be the perfect opportunity for a thru hike. This was mainly because we discovered we needed more time to transition to the civilian sector, as it was a huge change of pace for us.
This is where Warrior Expeditions comes in
In Spring of 2012 I was drooling over Appalachian Trail forums and news, excited for the prospective thru hikers (and only a little jealous) when I found an interesting article. It was written about Warrior Expeditions, an organization that sponsored Veterans for Appalachian Trail thru hikes. The program would provide Veterans with the necessary equipment and community support to “walk off the war” similar to Earl Shaffers journey.
My interest was piqued, but it was only a dream as I was about to enter into my four year contract with the Army.
Fast forward to 2016
Having remembered Warrior Expeditions from 2012, my wife and I applied for the 2017 AT Thru sponsorship. We knew that it had gained significant popularity over the years and that the odds were pretty slim. That is why we were incredibly surprised to learn we were selected to represent Warrior Expeditions for their 2017 AT Thru!
What are your plans until you hike?
We recently departed Alaska after quitting our jobs, and intend on doing several shakedown hikes to get in the right mindset for our thru. The last year has been very turbulent but we are ecstatic that our grand adventure is finally within reach!
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