COTTONWOOD – They say that walking is good for you, the best exercise around.
So imagine a Cottonwood man visiting first responders on foot, a man just shy of 80.
When Al Slusser wakes up the morning of Oct. 8, he’ll drive to Prescott and to Yarnell, then he’ll walk through the communities as a way of saying thanks to the first responders.
Pulling his fire-engine red cart through town, Slusser says he’ll be “walking for heroes.”
Slusser says that his mission is to “make people aware of the importance of those amazing men and women and to encourage everyone to give them the respect and honor they deserve.”
Slusser would have started his journey on Oct. 1, but his truck needed repairs, he said.
Though his first stop is in Yavapai County, Slusser says his route will be “I-10 for the winter months and then wherever God leads after that.”
Slusser selected Prescott and Yarnell to begin the walk because “if any place is aware of the important work first responders are called to do, it is those two.”
“God willing, I’ll begin Oct. 8 in Prescott and Yarnell where the 19 Hotshots perished in 2014 battling the Yarnell Fire,” Slusser said. “This time I’ll be driving from town to town and then walk through each one as a tribute to them. I’ll try to encourage people everywhere to thank them for their service and I’ll pray for their protection and safety as opportunities arise.”
To Slusser, the Prescott and Yarnell first responders are the “shining star for recognition and support of this cause.”
After visiting Prescott and Yarnell, Slusser says he plans to be the Phoenix area “for a while,” then travel to Tucson before “follow[ing] I-10 east and stop at all towns and cities to walk through them.”
“If I come to your town, please walk with me,” he says.
To offset travel costs, Slusser has set up accounts to solicit donations.
For more information or to help support Slusser’s cause, follow him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/al.slusser.3. Donations can be made on Facebook to the GoFundMe account or mail them to Slusser at P.O. Box 4438, Cottonwood, AZ. 86326.