Courtesy Photo of the group at the Gateway Motel in Hurley before they started the walk.
The Walk for the Heroes was held Friday evening into Saturday. According to the group's Facebook page, only a few made it the whole way, but among those was Mary Ann Madrid, body builder, who made it the whole way in her wheelchair.
The page also gave the brief history. During the many trips to Las Cruces for Doctor appointments, Liz Lopez’s husband, Mike Lopez (who could not walk due to a back injury) would tell her between Hurley and Deming that “Someday I am going to walk this Highway!” this was his inspiration for healing and walking again after being told he may never walk again.
As time went by Mike did heal and holding true to his word organized the first walk. Mike chose 9/11 as the day to begin, being an Army Veteran he felt a connection with this day.
Before the walk began Kay Beeman who is the Mother of James Heath Pirtle and a “Gold Star Mother” approached him and she asked Mike “would you carry this photo of my son.” Beeman also said “To me it was because of 9/11 that my son went to war.” James Heath Pirtle gave his life for our liberties on October 4, 2003.
Mike proudly carried the photo Mrs. Beeman gave to him, still carries the photo, and has named this walk after her son.