BELOIT—Marine Corps and Military Veteran Darren Hafford not solely raised consciousness about veteran suicide prevention as he did pushups in all 50 states, however discovered love and staved off a possible kidnapping.
“It’s an incredible story. You may’t make these items up,” he stated.
Extra on that later. Here’s a little background on the biceps.
Hafford, 50, is the son of Joyce Williams and stepson of Ron Williams of Beloit. His father Dan Hafford lives in Footville. Ron Williams is the proprietor of Home of Carpets. Hafford attended the previous Wright and Cunningham elementariy faculties, Lincoln Junior Excessive and graduated from Beloit Memorial Excessive Faculty (BMHS).
He dabbled in pictures and was a Beloit Each day Information newspaper supply boy. He had a penchant for particulars and admits he was teased a bit over his beforehand quick stature.
He shocked many, maybe even himself, when he went on to serve 4 years energetic responsibility within the U.S. Marine Corps, which included service on an anti-terrorist workforce. He additionally grew a number of extra inches at age 18.
Hafford then went on to spend six years within the Wisconsin Military Nationwide Guard whereas in faculty and deployed to Hungary to Assist Operation Joint Endeavor in 1996-1997, and to Honduras to cowl the rebuilding effort after Hurricane Mitch in 1999. He served as a navy police officer after which a public affairs and TV reporter for the 112th Cellular Public Affairs Detachment out of Madison.
Transferring to Los Angeles completely in 2008, he started work as an actor and additional, showing in additional than 20 TV reveals and films. He then started working behind the digital camera, working for retailers equivalent to HGTV, DIY Community, Meals Community, Bravo and the Recreation Present Community (GSN).
He had been a part of some pushup challenges previously after being moved by the lack of a soldier to suicide. Hafford had interviewed the soldier for the Wisconsin Military Nationwide Guard newspaper and was shocked by the information of his passing.
“I used to be naive. I assumed I may inform if somebody was having a tricky time,” he stated.
Hafford’s mission this summer time is elevating funds for One Tribe Basis, beforehand referred to as 22Kill which began the 22 pushup problem in 2015. It has since and rebranded itself to incorporate counseling for first responders. Folks can discover hyperlinks to the GoFundMe web site from Hafford’s web site at 50statecapitolsin50days.com as he’s nonetheless elevating cash. As of Thursday, he had raised greater than $6,300 on GoFundMe and near $2,000 in money.
Hafford did 50 pushups in 50 state capitols in 50 days. His journey kicked off July 4 in Austin, Texas and culminated on Aug. 22 in Hawaii. As a part of his journey he drove greater than 15,500 miles across the nation and flew to Alaska and Hawaii. By no means one for brand new autos, he took his trusty 2006 Chevy truck with greater than 320,000 miles on it.
“The truck’s air-con died the primary day, and a service store in Nevada mounted it at no cost,” he stated.
He had a couple of extra hiccups which resulted in a breakdown.
It was then when a beautiful woman saved the day. Jennifer Raymond Whitehouse was a gal he was Fb associates with in New Hampshire who was initially from Beloit. Though the 2 grew up a couple of blocks from one another, they by no means recalled assembly till a category reunion a couple of years in the past and have become Fb associates.
“The pushup problem pushed us collectively,” he stated. “She’s like a Lego to me. I’ve by no means clicked with somebody so effectively.”
Raymond Whitehouse had to assist usher Hafford round as he acquired his car mounted and flexed her biceps a couple of instances.
“We’ve executed seven totally different cities out of the 50 collectively,” he stated. “She saved the mission.”
Hafford discovered extra journey when he stopped a would-be abductor in Topeka, Kansas. On Aug. 19 he was taking photos on the capitol when he noticed a girl in peril who stated her purse, mobile phone and mom had been lacking. He known as police and began strolling across the capitol the place he noticed the girl’s automotive which had been throughout the road. The girl’s 86-year-old mom was within the passenger seat with a wierd man within the driver’s seat. After confronting the driving force, the person tried to run, however Hafford contained him till police arrived and arrested him and the girl may very well be reunited along with her daughter.
Now that Hafford is again, he’s planning a e-book on his adventures in addition to a movie which he hopes might be proven on the Beloit Worldwide Movie Pageant.
“It feels nice. It was an incredible journey and the beauty of it was what number of strangers helped alongside the best way,” he stated.