LEXINGTON, Va. — A program deeply dedicated to honoring those who serve and have served in the United States Armed Forces, the Virginia Military Institute men’s lacrosse team joined up with Mike’s Hiking For Heroes as the cross-country trek made its way through Lexington on December 1.
Mike’s Hiking For Heroes, organized by Mike Viti and presented by Legacies Alive, is a cross-country walk covering 7,100 kilometers (4,411 miles), one kilometer for each service member killed in action during the Global War on Terror. Viti began his trek on April 26 in DuPont, Wash. and will conclude the walk on Dec. 13 in Baltimore, Md. at the annual Army-Navy football game at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Hike came through town on a day when it honored a Lexington native, Lt. Chase Prasnicki, a graduate of the United States Military Academy and member of the Army football program. Prasnicki has deep roots to the Institute as his younger brother, Tyler, is a senior on the lacrosse team and joined up with Mike’s Hiking For Heroes on Dec. 1 for the walk from Lynchburg to Lexington. Tyler was joined on the hike by his sister, Lauren, who also played college lacrosse at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. Their father, David Prasnicki, is the vice president and Chief Financial Officer for the VMI Foundation as well.
After the Hike arrived in Lexington, Viti met with the team in the locker room and was joined by fellow hikers Mark Faldowski and Alex Larson.
Assistant coach Michael Grimm, who was a staff sergeant in the United States Army, serving in the 1st Ranger Battalion, joined Mike’s Hiking For Heroes on Nov. 30 near Lynchburg, serving as a guide for the trip over the mountain to Lexington.
“What Mike Viti, Mark Faldowski and Alex Larson have done is nothing short of remarkable and let me not forget Mike’s wonderful wife Lauren,” said Grimm of Mike’s Hiking For Heroes. “Though they would never say it, they have given up jobs, sacrificed time away from family and other pursuits to make a bold and important statement to us as a nation. That those men and women that have paid the ultimate price to defend our nation and their loved ones left behind, should not and will not be forgotten. Legacies Alive and Mike’s Hiking for Heroes is at the heart of what VMI and its graduates stand for as an institution. I was humbled to be a very small part of it.”
For more information on Mike’s Hiking For Heroes, please visit his Web site: www.MikesHikingForHeroes.com