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Army veteran in Kansas on 1,200-mile walk while talking about immigration

Pascha Morgan, an activist from Iowa who is walking across the country to protest treatment of asylum-seeking migrants (Collegian Media Group/Facebook)

Pascha Morgan stopped at the Veteran of Foreign Affairs Post 1432 in Salina during his 1,200-mile journey to bring awareness and have conversations with people about the treatment of immigrants detained at the southern border.

Morgan is a U.S. Army veteran walking from Iowa to Texas.

“It’s about love and compassion of humanity really,” Morgan said.

Morgan said talking about the humans at the border is where he tries to lead conversations.

“I feel like in the conversation about policy, we miss compassion and the love and humanity we’re supposed to have for everybody,” Morgan said.

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Morgan said one reason he’s doing this is because he sees how people in the past have brought attention to issues.

“In America, it’s what we do,” Morgan said. “If we like something is an injustice, from women’s liberation to the prohibition movement to civil rights. We walk, we march, we stand, we sit.”

Morgan has been traveling through small towns and large cities. Most have had less than 2,000 people living in them. No matter where he goes, Morgan said the reception he’s received has been great.

“Whether people agree with the policies or not, I haven’t really found anybody who disagrees with the sentiment that people should still be treated like people,” Morgan said. “We still have to treat people with humanity. We can’t lose our humanity in whatever we do, regardless of how we feel about immigrants.”

Morgan is a family man, with a wife and eight children, two of which still live at home.

“I have two little ones at home, a 12-year-old and a 5-year-old,” Morgan said. “That’s the hardest part is being away from my family.

Both of these children have birthdays while Morgan is gone on this journey, but he feels it is important to do it. His wife felt so too.

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“I told her, ‘You know, I think I’m going to walk to Texas,’ and she said, ‘Of course you are,'” Morgan said. “That obviously didn’t surprise her.”

Morgan served as a combat medic in the Army and said his time of service taught him things that are helpful in life and on this journey.

“Being in the military, there are certain things that they stress,” Morgan said. “Leadership and integrity are two of those. Leadership is setting an example and integrity is what you do when no one else is watching.”

Morgan said when he first started planning the walk, he invited people to join.

“I thought it would be a movement more than a walk or march,” Morgan said.

When he discovered others wouldn’t be able or willing to join him, Morgan felt he had to do it by himself if that was necessary.

He said part of the integrity is shown as he’s been walking without having a lot of people know about it. Morgan doesn’t mind if he doesn’t get a lot of attention though. He’s more interested in talking with people.

“If all that ever happened was I talk to a few people in each town I go to, that’s still a feat,” Morgan said. “Being able to walk and have face to face honest conversations with people, that’s a win. If that’s all that comes out of it, I’m OK with that.”

Morgan will continue his journey to Texas and make his way through Kansas this week, passing through places like Great Bend and Larned. To follow him along the way and to find out more information about his cause, you can go to his Facebook page, facebook.com/MAD.AF1200/.

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© 2019 The Salina Journal