Super Bowl XXI Champ George Martin Pens JUST AROUND THE BEND
As likely the first professional athlete to walk continuously across the U.S. for charitable purposes, retired NFL great George Martin today announced the publication of My Journey for 9/11: Just Around the Bend, a memoir of his historic cross-country walk to benefit thousands of ailing Ground Zero rescue and recovery workers. Martin's courageous endeavor, a trek that covered 3,003 miles from New York City to San Diego, raised several million dollars in cash, in-kind contributions and pledged medical services to benefit seriously ill 9/11 workers from all 50 states.
Just Around the Bend weaves the tale of Martin's unrelenting, inspiring quest "to help right the wrong" of how thousands of sick rescue and recovery workers were being treated or not treated for serious ailments resulting from their service in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. "Every day I would read reports of more and more of these heroic figures getting sicker and sicker, with lung disease, PTSD and more, and not enough was being done for them," says Martin, the retired co-captain of the Super Bowl XXI NY Giants championship football team. "So I walked, guided by my faith, to shine a light on their plight and to raise money for their care. And to see the splendors of America the way few get to see it. It was a great and humbling honor."
Published by Significance Press in New York and co-written with Richard Fritzky, the 300-page book documents through prose and numerous photos Martin's walk and the events in his life on and off the football field which inspired and prepared him mentally and physically to take on this monumental challenge. The life-long humanitarian started walking west from the George Washington Bridge in New York City on September 16, 2007, and, over the course of more than nine months, encountered rainstorms in the Northeast, the freezing temperatures and driving winds of the Great Plains and the mountains and desert heat of the Southwest. The reader of Just Around the Bend is taken on the Journey with Martin, meeting the diverse characters he encounters along the way, savoring the magnificent landscapes, and braving often fierce weather and dangerous terrain conditions.
The book's Foreword is provided by NFL Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells. "I've experienced and witnessed some extraordinary things in my life," said Parcells. "Great acts of courage. Impressive demonstrations of athleticism and endurance. Moments of true generosity and selflessness. Rarely, if ever, though, do you see all of that wrapped into one. But that's really what George's Journey was."
Martin trekked through 13 states and Washington, DC, where, in October 2007, he met with several members of the U.S. Congress who were advocating legislation for additional funding for 9/11 healthcare programs. "By any standard, George Martin's Journey was a remarkable feat," said U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney. "The attention he brought to the plight of thousands of ailing rescue and recovery workers of Ground Zero was surely instrumental in the passage of the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act. George is a Giant of a man, and it was my honor to work alongside him to achieve justice and secure care for a vast community of selfless and courageous Americans."