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100-year-old MN WWII vet crosses finish line on 100-mile walk for charity

Mickey Nelson crossed the finish to cheers having raised more than $100,000
Credit: Chad Nelson, KARE

CLARKS GROVE, Minn — A WWII Veteran has completed a lofty goal he set in May.

At 100 years old, Mickey Nelson has finished a 100-mile walk, crossing the finish line two blocks from his Clarks Grove, Minnesota home as supporters cheered.

“He's a really special guy and we're just blessed to have him in our lives,” Mickey’s daughter, Michelle Kelm, said.

Britain's WWII veteran Tom Moore inspired Mickey by lapping his garden 100 times, while raising millions of dollars for England’s health care system.

“And dad said, ‘He's using a walker, I'm pretty sure I can walk 100 miles without a walker,’” Michelle said with a laugh in a May interview.

Mickey set a goal of raising $5000 dollars for the Salvation Army.

Instead, donors inspired by Mickey’s walk have chipped in more than $100,000.

Mickey, who grew up during the Great Depression, asked that the money be spent feeding people in need.

RELATED: WWII veteran turns 100, continues 100 mile walk for charity

“Those were tough days in Depression days,” he said in a June interview. “I remember the bread lines in those days. They were lining up for something to eat. It left a mark on me that people needed food.”

Before walking his last mile, Mickey was treated to a WWII Jeep ride through Clarks Grove by a group of WWII reenactors. 

Credit: Boyd Huppert

The group made a stop at the Pour House bar where the reenactors sat with Mickey on a picnic table sipping sodas and gaining insight from a WWII genuine article.

Steve Briola, the Jeep’s owner, asked Mickey when he’d last ridden in an army Jeep. 

Credit: Boyd Huppert

“Well, it would be ‘43 I think,” Mickey said.

The reenactors were among several dozen people who walked along on the last leg of Mickey’s 100 miles.

Credit: Boyd Huppert

They then saluted his accomplishment.

Major Sandy Hunt of the Albert Lea Salvation Army crossed the finish line with Mickey too.  She praised his service to her organization.

“It’s going to feed a lot of people,” she said. “It’s going to do a lot of good.”


RELATED: Minnesota WWII vet walking 100 miles for his 100th birthday

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