His mission also caught the attention of some Brownsburg High School students who put on a 5K in his honor with the proceeds going toward the HVAF. Surprisingly for them, they got a call two days before the event that Day wanted to appear. They raised nearly $3,000.
BHS senior Morgan Weller, one of three students who put on the Hoofin’ it for Hoosier Vets 5K, said, “It was an honor to have him involved with us and to see him at our race. Just seeing what Zach did, seeing the selflessness and passion inspired us and I hope it inspires other people as well.”
Hannah Paczkowski, who was also involved with the event, added, “It made so much bigger of an impact that he was there. I think in the future I’ll be a lot more conscious that there are people out there that are veterans and they served for us. I think I’ll be a lot more appreciative. One of the goals was to create more awareness that there are homeless veterans in Indiana.”
Nick Kelley, the third student to put on the event, said, “Finding out that one third of all homeless people were veterans just shocked me. They protected everything the United States stands for.”
Day said he will never stop advocating for homeless veterans and does not know where the path will lead him from here, but his passion for the military was only strengthened by his hiking experience. He said he’s mulling several options, including becoming a civilian defense contractor and going back overseas.
“I want to get back in the fight in some way,” he said. “People ask me a lot, and I’ve had to think about why it is that I want to go back over there. When you’re in combat, you have no question in your mind what your role is, what your purpose is. It’s evident. There’s no confusion at all. Being here, it’s a little more complicated. When you’re over there, the peripheral riff raff of being here doesn’t exist. It’s all about staying alive and keeping your buddies alive. So I’m thinking about going back as a civilian.”