Former football star walks the country for 9/11

Monday, February 11th 2008, 5:45 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

Retired New York Giants football star George Martin is walking across the country to raise money and awareness. NEWS 9's Amy Lester caught up with him at a pit stop in Oklahoma.

Martin is walking to raise money for 9/11 Ground Zero recovery and rescue workers who have major medical problems. He has burned through 18 pairs of shoes and covered 1,600 miles so far on his journey.

"It's like walking across the street, only a lot farther," Martin said.

With every step, Martin is raising money for 9/11 rescue and recovery workers whose healthcare costs have escalated in the last six years.

"I heard it said very aptly by one of the rescue and recovery workers, ‘I have to make a decision between putting necessary food on the table for my family or buying the medicine I need to sustain my life,'" Martin said.

During a special stop at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, Martin thanked Oklahoma's first responders.

Martin said he was not a hero.

"For those of us who are professional athletes, who've been put in a category of heroes, I think that's unjust," Martin said.

Reggie Cervantes is a 9/11 first responder.  She spent three days at Ground Zero, ended up with multiple life threatening conditions, and now lives in Oklahoma.

"We talk about him, in the support groups among the rescue workers, we talk about him, we know what he's doing and it's a tremendous selfless act," Cervantes said.

Martin has 1,800 miles to go and will keep walking.

"If I can see that I have spent the day helping someone else in their life, helping make it better, as someone once did for me, that to me is the greatest gratification I can have," Martin said.

Martin has raised $2.5 million of his $10 million goal.  If you would like to donate, click on this link: