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Service & Sacrifice: 12,000 miles and counting

Four miles a day — everyday. A 73-year-old former Navy firefighter is blazing new miles daily on a Knoxville greenway.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — If you walk, bike, run or take a regular stroll on Third Creek Greenway — you know his face.

“I’ve seen people come and go,” said Ronald Myers, who for the last 12 years has spent almost every day clocking 4 miles a day on the path winding from Everly Brothers Park down to Tyson Park and the University of Tennessee campus.

“I just do it for myself,” said the 73-year-old who logs his mileage after every outing. 

He has three books full now totaling more than 12,000 miles. That is roughly equivalent to walking from New York to Los Angeles and back, twice.

Credit: John Becker
Ronald Myers holding one of the log books he keeps of the miles he clocks everyday walking Third Creek Greenway in Knoxville.

“I started (7 days) after retiring from the county school system in 2009,” he said. “I guess (I’ll go) until they carry me off the trail."

The Navy veteran served during the Vietnam era and credits that military service for shaping his resolute dedication to achieving his walking goal and to never stop.

In addition to our on-camera interview, Ronald Myers answered the following 10 questions about the influence his military service had on the rest of his life.

Credit: John Becker
Ronald Myers flipping through memorabilia from his Navy service in the Vietnam era

1. What one person influenced you the most in life?

Daddy. Hard worker. And died of lupus but he was brave.

2. Do you feel honored and respected for serving your country?

Yes.

3. How can people thank you for your service?

By continuing to give to veterans and helping how they can with support.

4. How do you honor your fellow servicemen and women?

I salute them every time I see them. I help them when I can. I respect the flag.

5. How do you think this generation of servicemen and women is different or similar to yours?

It is different but everybody’s got pride in the country.

6. What influence did your military service have on the rest of your life?

Glad I did it. I would do it again.

7. Does your family have a history of military service?

Yes. My two brothers were in the service. One Navy in service and one in Army.

8. Would you encourage younger generations in your family to join the service?

Yes.

9. How has your opinion of war changed?

Hard question to answer. Not sure it has.

10. How did your military experience shape your faith?

Respect for people giving orders and great faith in the country and great faith in God.