For about four years, I’ve wanted to walk northern Spain’s Camino de Santiago. I decided to do so this summer to coincide the St. Fermin festival and annual “Running with the Bulls” in Pamplona. I first learned of the Way of St. James from a friend at Zoo Bar in Washington, DC, probably in 2004. I hadn’t thought of it for years until a couple of soldiers at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan, suggested that I watch a 2010 movie called “The Way.” The movie was powerful. I watched it with fellow Knights of Columbus brothers in May 2013 in a run-down building at Camp Eggers. This was only a few days after my command had lost four contractors, along with two infantry soldiers, in a terrible car-bombing in central Kabul.
They say everyone has a reason to walk The Camino. I am not even sure if I am doing it for those six, others who I lost in war and peace, for myself–or other reasons. It’s nearly 500 miles (the French Route, or French Way) to the Cathedral at Santiago…you have to have a reason to do it.