May 23, 2013

Walking for Sharon

Veteran hiking Fort Mountain to raise funds

Rachel Brown

— A former Marine who is hiking to all 50 state capitals is on a mission this week to raise money for an Ellijay veteran who is down on her luck.

As part of his journey, Virginia resident Mac McQuown is hiking from Dalton, going up and over Fort Mountain, and arriving Saturday afternoon at the American Legion in Ellijay. There, he will present 15-year Air Force veteran Sharon Hetler with whatever donations he is able to accumulate along the way. McQuown is a 1980 graduate of Dalton High School.

Hetler is a veteran who is “down on her luck,” McQuown said. He said he met her through an American Legion member. Hetler’s car is running on only two cylinders, she has little money and she needs food and clothing. Donations of money, non-perishable food, clothing or time to help her with tasks such as walking her dog or washing her car are appreciated, he said.

McQuown welcomes would-be givers to call him at (352) 210-6836 for more information and where to direct donations.

“This is actually a surprise for her,” he said. “She’s not even expecting this.”

McQuown said he was scheduled to complete 2,012 miles on his journey by the end of the day Wednesday. The Overlook Inn has offered to put him up for the night on his journey, he said. He is scheduled to reach the summit of Fort Mountain — 3,000 feet — on Friday at 6 p.m.

McQuown walked in to Dalton on April 25 and was welcomed by groups of firefighters, law officers, students and others. He said he has spent the last few weeks fulfilling requests to speak to various groups and individuals in the region. He began his walk again on Wednesday.

To follow him, visit