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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Students step out to honor US veterans

Tim W. Glass
Tim W. Glass / Arizona Daily Wildcat Mendon Dornbrook, Nick Bajema, and Corey Eck – all second year MBA students, and Trey Terry, a political science junior (not pictured), walked from Old Main to ASU between Dec. 12-16 to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. The four raised $12,000 according to Bajema, who is also a Army veteran. They hope to continue the event after they graduate by having more people walk 100 miles at locations throughout the U.S.

Four UA students walked 100 miles from Old Main to ASU to collect nearly $12,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization dedicated to assisting returning veterans.

Nick Bajema, Mendon Dornbrook, Corey Eck and Trey Terry left Old Main on Dec. 12 at 8 a.m. and reached their destination at Arizona State University on Dec. 16.

Bajema, a veteran and a business administration graduate student, organized the walk early last semester and asked colleagues to join him.

“It took some leadership to get us motivated every day,” said Corey Eck, a business administration graduate student. “He (Bajema) was passionate about the cause and he kept us all pretty motivated as well.”

The “100 Mile Hump” was a new adventure for all four students. While in the Army, Terry had walked more than 30 miles in one day before, but never five days in a row. Repetitive strain, extra weight and the humid weather played into the students’ tiredness, soreness and blisters, they said.

“You think, ‘Hey, I’m young, I’m fit … I can walk 25 miles no problem’ and you can, one day,” said Mendon Dornbrook, a business administration graduate student. “After that, your body starts to push back.”

Through publicity, supporting organizations and their personal contacts, the students were able to exceed their $10,000 goal. People stopped in the middle of the road and wrote out checks, Dornbrook said. These checks, along with donations made online at, totaled nearly $12,000 all to support the Wounded Warrior Project.

The students’ supporters also helped with food, and the four students were even given a free night stay at a hotel in Florence, Ariz.

“We’re just four guys walking out in the middle of the road trying not to get hit by angry Arizona drivers,” Dornbrook said. “The real value and momentum that we got was from people who were supporting us.”

The Wounded Warrior Project aids veterans who are physically wounded or need psychological assistance. As an army veteran and benefactor of the Wounded Warrior Project, Terry said he has seen firsthand how helpful the organization is, not only to soldiers returning home, but also to those who are evacuated and sent to hospitals all over the world.

“When you’re evacuated out of a combat zone, all you have on is what’s on your back,” Terry said. “So when I got to Germany, they (the Wounded Warrior Project) were able to provide me with clothing and a pair of shoes so I wouldn’t have to wear boots in the hospital.”

The 100 Mile Hump is an effort that was founded three years ago by Mark Finelli, a UA alumnus, to financially support the project. Finelli organized the first 100 Mile Hump in Virginia this year, where he lives.

Though the Wounded Warrior Project has become a large-scale organization, the 100 Mile Hump is fairly new and still growing. According to Dornbrook, this was a way for him as a civilian to support our troops.

“I think we have duties not only as U.S. citizens,” Dornbook said, “but as global citizens to support American troops.”

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