Tom Young has always been a strong person. He was in the Army for 31 years, in military intelligence. He really took the Army’s motto “be all you can be” to heart, and decided to trek the whole Appalachian Trail. The trail crosses fourteen states, and is 2,189 miles long. The kicker? He’s 75.
His age did not stop the South Carolina native from embarking on the solo mission March 22nd, 2017. He just finished the epic journey, five months later. He said the march across the trail was, “a way to demonstrate at the age of 75, you can ‘be all you can be’ still.”
Although he completed it, the journey was not without its challenges. Young reported he was, “struck with lightning … [got] shin splints … [and] fell and broke open [his] eye.” He said he fell about, “50 times on the trail. [It was a] very difficult trail of rocks, root and rain.”
Most people would think this is a crazy idea. Among those people was his wife, Jane. Tom knew she’d be against the plan, so he kept it secret for a time. Because he was a full Colonel in the army, and dealt with planning covert operations, he was uniquely prepared to hide the plan from his wife. Tom trained for a year to be in shape for the hike, and it was “a little covert,” and that his wife didn’t know, “right off the bat [he] was going to do [the hike].”
When Jane found out, she wasn’t exactly pleased. “The moment I found out about it what was going through my head? To be honest, I wanted to choke him.” Eventually though, Tom did the trip, and when he got back, Jane was proud that Tom had achieved his laudable goal, and that she was, “elated, relieved and extremely happy,” that he made it home safe and sound.