Bam! pow! Captain America (and his dog) visit Rockdale
Allen Mullins, a 28-year-old Georgia native, is on a mission that would challenge the real Captain America—if there was one.
He’s walking to all 48 state capitals in the contiguous United States to raise attention to veterans issues, particularly homeless veterans.
Mullins has already visited 26—“I’ve done just about all the east”—and stayed in Rockdale Monday on the way to Austin.
TUNEUP—He’s been on the road a year and figures the task will take 10 years total.
After Austin he heads for Missouri (Jefferson City) then up through Iowa (Des Moines) to Minnesota (St. Paul).
From St. Paul he will head over to Bismarck, North Dakota, then make a beeline south, picking up the capitals of South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma, then turn west.
Mullins is serious about his quest. He gave up his job as a carpenter and sold his home and land so he could make the trip and did a previous 5,000-mile walk that served as a “tuneup.”
“The purpose of all this is to bring awareness on how troops are treated once they get back home,” he said.
Soon there ought to be a way supporters can make pledges to support Mullins’ effort.
“I’m going to meet with a veterans group in Palestine after I leave Austin and head up toward Missouri,” he said. “They’re supposed to arrange something.”
DOG-GONE—His eight week-old “mutt mix” puppy “Justice” accompanied Mullins to Rockdale and there’s a tail—uh, tale—involved.
“Justice is my third dog,” Mullins said. “I’ve had two stolen since I started this walk.”
Who would steal a dog from Captain America?
“I don’t know why but it’s happened a couple of times,” Mullins said. “I’d go inside a store to get them something to eat, chain up the dog outside and when I got back someone had unlatched the chain and took my dog.”
“I’ve been trying to go into places like PetSmart now when I walk through cities,” he said. “You can take your dog inside.”
He’s a “dog man.”
“I guarantee you I’ll go hungry before my dog will,” Mullins said.
Rockdale turned out to be a much needed pit stop for Justice who received a donated nail clipping and doggie shampoo.
Justice was acquired just up US 79 in Buffalo.
ROAD ADVENTURES—Not all his nightly destinations have been so accommodating.
“I was walking down the road in Pennsylvania and the next thing I know I’m waking up in a hospital two days later,” Mullins said.
“Somebody hit me in the head with a beer bottle,” he said.
He’s lost a signature part of the Captain America look.
“I had a shield but it got run 0ver,” Mullins said. “A lady stopped me at the side of the road and talked to me for probably half an hour. I laid my shield down and when she started her car, she ran over it.”
He gets a lot of comment from the public. “People smile and wave and say encouraging things. Of course there are some that curse at me. I’ve been called lots of things.”
And, of course, he’s already trudged through snow and sweltering summers.
SUPERMAN—He started out the walk dressed as Superman but when this man of steel proved more durable than his costume, he switched to Captain America.
“I absolutely love this costume, red, white and blue and based on the American flag,” he said. “But this is more uncomfortable and it’s wearing out quicker.”
What does Mullins want?
“When you’re out enjoyng the American dream and see a soldier, shake their hand, tell them you appreciate their (volunteer!) commitment to the service of our great country,” he said.
Just what you'd expect from Captain America.