68 Year Old Army Veteran rides Kick Scooter 500+ miles, over 12 days
Phillip Hadlock, a 68 year old Vietnam Era Army Veteran,
a Special Projects MBA, and a 6th degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate....
I begin my Scootering at Balboa Park, Veterans Memorial in San Diego, California... Wednesday morning, April 21st. at 9AM,
I will continue to scooter until I reach the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Capitol Park, Sacramento.
Follow my journey....
Click on image to read more
SCOOTER RIDE FINAL REPORT
By lunchtime, at Del Taco on the first day I was already wondering if I had bitten off more than I could chew. I thought about my first 7 mile and 12 mile Speed Marches in Basic Training and decided that it is as much Willpower as it is Physical Power.
I had been in San Diego several times as a kid, even surfed there as a teen... but I didn't remember how hilly it was. I love going downhill, of course, but trying to kick a scooter up hill, especially long, steady uphills can be impossible... and for 68 years of age, I am in pretty good physical condition.... pretty good!
The long downhill ride towards the Pacific was a great relief, and once I was along the ocean, well its sea level.... get it? “Sea LEVEL.” Level is good and I still believe that I can go for hours/miles on level ground with comfortable weather conditions.
The actual miles attempted was 547 according to Google Maps and along my chosen route. At the finish line my Scooter Computer (they like to call it) showed 341 miles of Scootering.
547 miles attempted
341 miles completed... 62% That's an average of about 28.4 miles per day.
I do believe that 62% or 341 miles in 12 days is actually, fairly good. I would challenge anyone, at any age to do better... and yes, I know better can be done; but this is what I did.
I was born and raised in California and have traveled many, many times between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the old US Hwy 101. I have even gone from LA to SF on Coast Hwy 1. In 1971, the year I graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School I hiked, with a friend from Meeks Bay in Lake Tahoe to the Yosemite Valley along the Tahoe-Yosemite section of the Pacific Crest Trail. We took 30 days to complete this journey. I love the Sierras.
I have been from the Mexican to the Oregon Boarders and from the Pacific Ocean to up-and-over the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. I have been in the Southeastern Deserts and in the Northwestern Redwood Forests. I have been on the freeways and on many back roads (sometimes lost). I was under the impression that I had seen it all; that I knew my California.... and maybe I did, in the past...
But this California, the one I just traveled through is even more amazing than I realized... Rich, poor, homestead, homeless, business persons, farmers, run-down places, and postcard perfect scenes. I saw city garbage in piles on the streets – and no one cared; and meticulously maintained vineyards and homes kept by those who are particular about how things appear.
I met people... wonderful people. Some optimistic, others pessimistic. Some looking towards the future; others just trying to get through the day and wishing to forget. Some were high, some just wanted to say, hi. Some were kind; others just told me to “F*** Off.” Most were very supportive of my Homeless Veterans Mission; others couldn't care less. But with all the natural resources , and all the natural, abundant beauty that this State of California possesses, it is still the People that make this State the one of the most dynamic, interesting, and progressive place on earth... in my humble opinion.
I met several Homeless individuals on this journey, and I must say that it does not appear to me that the main cause of Homelessness is either Heavy Drugs or Insanity. Those things may be more of a result of long term Homelessness, but from what I learned (from the homeless themselves) is that the primary cause of Homelessness is really circumstantial, rather than lifestyle (drugs or insanity). I can not say for certain that each of these Homeless individuals was telling me the truth, but there wasn't any reason for them to lie. After saying hello, I would ask if they would tell me their story – how they became Homeless. For the most part these individuals seemed lucid, thoughtful in their answers, and just felt trapped in their Homeless situation... Lost a job; got laid-off, lost a house; abandoned by family. Can't get help because of no address; no ID; no car; no change of clothes.
But, I asked... if they had the opportunity to go to a residential Vocational learning center and after that into a guaranteed housing and job arrangement, would they be interested? Of the three Homeless Veterans that I asked they all said yes.... they would go in a day. These guys just need an opportunity that is guaranteed to them.
How can I be sure that a Homeless guy is a Veteran? I just ask them what their “MOS” was. If you are reading this and you do not know what an MOS is – then my point is well taken. Most civilians do not know what an MOS is.
THAT IS MY REPORT.... and I can not wait to go scootering again.
A highlight from Los Angeles
"Last night, Friday Dawn and I met a couple of friends and went out into the street to find a little something to eat. On the outskirts of Skid Row at a taco truck a Homeless man stopped by us. On a bicycle he had three different full bags, one his belongings and the other two aluminium cans. I began a conversation with him. He told me his name was Gee...short for Gene. Ten years ago he was about to purchase a home and something happened. He didn't go into detail but in a short time he was Homeless and ended up on Skid Row. He told me he had a job collecting cans, bottles, anything recyclable. He said that he had about $80 worth in his bags. He started talking about the black man in America, and how the British slavers brought African slaves to the Caribbean islands to work sugar plantations. He spoke about the French and Indian War and the parts played by blacks in that conflict and both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. His facts were correct. Homeless for ten years...educated, intelligent and looking for a way out of Skid Row and back into society. Oh, by the way, coincidentally..a Navy Veteran. I cried in my heart. "
Sacramento, CA March, 2021
68 year old Army Veteran
Rides Kick Scooter 500+ miles over 12 days for Veterans' Homelessness.
Phillip Hadlock, a 68 year old Vietnam Era Army Veteran from Placerville, California has decided to do something about Veterans Homelessness Himself. He's developed the “Veterans' Joint Task Force on Homelessness”, a non-profit, non-governmental Organization whose members are one hundred percent Veterans, Veteran Spouses, and Veteran Owned Businesses.
Hadlock, who also holds a BA in Political Science and an MBA in Consumer Product Marketing and Finance says that government programs are too disjointed to create an environment in which the Mind-Set of Homelessness can be dismantled and replaced with a Supportive, Responsible, Community and Relationship based life experience. Hadlock says: “It's not enough to simply take a homeless veteran off the street and put him or her into a shelter. Homeless does not only mean no roof; it is also, and perhaps more importantly a state-of-mind: it means a lack of self-worth, a lack of goals, no foreseeable opportunity, and no sense of security, permanence, or of being a valued member of a Community.”
To bring exposure to the The Veterans' Joint Task Force on Homelessness” and to raise awareness regarding Veterans' Homelessness, Hadlock will, beginning at 9AM, on April 21, 2021 ride a Kick Scooter from the Veterans Memorial in Balboa Park, San Diego to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Capitol Park in Sacramento, CA. That's 500+ miles and 12 days to complete.
Hadlock will mostly follow along side I-5 from San Diego to Los Angeles and then, mostly along side Hwy 99 through California's Central Valley. People can see Hadlock's progress and current location in real-time via the websites GPS locator map. Everyone, especially Veterans are invited out to greet and support Hadlock, or to join him on a portion of the ride through their town.
Hadlock's goal is to gain a minimum of 10,000 new members for the Vets Task Force. The base commitment is a five dollar a month contribution. “I'm not asking Veterans to give the money to me, per se; what I am asking is for us Veterans to Pool our resources and put that power behind a program that will actually be effective. There are about 18 million Veterans in the US today. If only one percent join the Task Force that would provide the resources to be an effective and successful organization.
The Veterans' Joint Task Force has a unique approach to providing opportunity to our Homeless Veterans through an integrated approach to Residential, Educational, and Career job placement. We create what Government programs do not - the sense of, or the aspect of... COMMUNITY (see our website).
We, the 18 million USA Veterans can and must resolve this issue Ourselves... It is a responsibility that falls upon us to do so. These are our Brothers and Sisters - those we trained with, served with, and for many, risked our lives with; all for Country.
Through all of our endeavors we hope to display the conviction behind our beliefs;
That NO SOLDIER is LEFT BEHIND