It's not every day you see Captain America carrying a flag down Highway 14 in Antelope County.
And that's the point and exactly why Allen Mullins captured everyone's attention on Friday as he walked from Albion toward Neligh on his trek toward the west coast. And why is he walking? He's trying to raise money for an American Legion and VFW organization.
"Veterans should mean more to our country than a movie star, but they don't. I've learned you have to entertain the people," Mullins said. "If you want to get a good message across, you have to entertain them. If you can get their attention, they'll listen, but you have to entertain them."
So Mullins dresses in Captain America attire in honor of his heroes, veterans, and carries a flag as he walks to try and raise money for various projects.
It's a tough road, literally. Mullins said he spends about 20 nights a year in motel rooms, which made Thursday and Friday night pretty special. People in Albion and Neligh paid for back-to-back stays. Usually Mullins spends the night in the back of a truck stop on his sleeping bag.
But on Friday night, Mullins was treated to Subway and a night's stay at the West Hill View motel, all courtesy of a couple of people in Neligh. He'll continue his trek on Saturday morning, heading toward Clearwater and O'Neill. He'll take 275 to Valentine and then going north into South Dakota.
"Those who have no footprints of their own have no life of their own," he said. "People find it easier to walk someone else's path because the stumbles, the falls, the mess ups are already done. But I think the best part of your path is actually the stumbles and the falls."
Mullins' first trek was a 5,000-mile journey across the United States. Mullins next spent three years walking to all 48 state capitals in the contiguous U.S.
Along the way, Mullins is often stopped for photos, which he welcomes. He gladly poses for selfies and shares his story if they ask why a grown man is wearing a Captain America costume and carrying the flag.
Many offer him money, but he turns them down. Yes, he's walking to raise money, but he can't carry those donations. He instead asks people to donate to the GoFundMe page. Unfortunately, most don't. He's taken hundreds of photos and has under $1,000 in the fund.
"People get mad when I don't take their money, but the money isn't for me," he said. "I want them to donate to the Go Fund Me page. They donate there, and I don't take their cash."
Here's a link to his official VFW GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/cpt-america
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