Last Saturday, Matthew Kerner walked into Montecito Fire Station No. 1 on his fundraising trek across America benefiting Active Heroes, a nonprofit organization assisting veterans, active duty military and their families.
Upon entering Montecito, Kerner was escorted to the station by MFD Engine 91, Squad 91. Montecito Fire’s new chief, Chip Hickman, walked along with him on the last few miles before reaching the station.
To make Kerner feel at home, the firefighters prepared a traditional spaghetti dinner for him, and shared stories about his journey.
“This is an admirable mission that Matt has taken on,” Hickman said. “Raising funds and showing his support to the troops, as well as helping military families in need is very commendable, and we are happy to show support of his cause.”
Kerner learned of the sacrifices veterans make after his brother, Justin, joined the Marines shortly after graduating high school. His brother served several combat tours in Iraq, and had a difficult time recovering from the stresses caused by his experiences.
“I believe we are all indebted to our veterans,” Matt Kerner said.
He has set out to hike across America from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., in an effort to raise awareness and funding.
Click here to follow Kerner on his journey or to make a donation to Active Heroes.
— Geri Ventura represents the Montecito Fire Protection District.