WACO, Texas (KWTX) 163 miles for 163 lives.
Elm Mott firefighters walk alongside Brent Wright as he makes his way from Dallas to Austin for the "Walk of Reflection" honoring police officers killed in the line of duty. (Photo courtesy of North Richland Hills PD)
A Texas police sergeant is walking from Dallas to Austin in honor of fallen police officers.
"Last year in September...it just seemed like every week there was another one dying by being hit by an automobile, a gunfire shooting, or any kind of health related issues, and I just wanted to do something to show them that I cared, something that we could remember them by," said Brent Wright, a sergeant with the North Richland Hills Police Department.
Wright has been a police officer for 18 years, but this is his first year doing the "Walk of Reflection," a 163-mile walk designating one mile for each of the 150 law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2018, and 13 in 2019.
"The ceremony sendoff was in North Richland Hills, did 21 miles there, almost 22, then yesterday 21 from West, and then 22 today (Tuesday)," Wright told KWTX.
After beginning his journey April 25, Wright started his fourth day of walking at McLane Stadium in Waco, powering-through Central Texas Tuesday with only a backpack and a backup vehicle behind him, ending in Bruceville-Eddy.
"Waco is crazy, traffic here is insane," Wright narrated in a live video on Facebook. "I'm tired, and I've got four days left."
Wright says each mile is a motivator.
"Those guys and gals gave the ultimate sacrifice, and so what's a mile here or a mile there, ya know, I can get through the pain," said Wright. "It's to honor them, and for me I've got to give it my best because I'm doing this for them."
Helping him on his journey are police and fire department's along the way: from West PD and Bruceville Eddy PD to Lacy Lakeview FD and Elm Mott VFD, first-responders have been coming out to support Wright as he makes his way through their city.
In addition to giving him drinks, meals and mementos like shirts and hats to help keep him going, some agencies like Hewitt PD and the Bell County Sheriff's Office have even helped provide police escorts to keep Wright safe as he walks.
"It was our honor to spend a few minutes with you and thank you for what you are doing," said Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin.
Wright is staying at a local hotel and will resume walking at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday in Bruceville-Eddy.
He'll finish his journey on Sunday at the Texas State Capitol Police Memorial in Austin.
He says each mile he walks is an honor.
"If something were to happen to me, I would hope that my children would have something to look back on and say 'wow, they did remember, and they did appreciate what he did, and what he did mattered,'" said Wright. "That's what the whole thing is - just helping have some sort of legacy for those officers."
100 percent of donations and sponsorships will go to Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) and Alliance For Children, Wright said.