Arrested dozens of times as he tirelessly walks the roadways across the nation to raise awareness of the plight of military veterans and others and funds to help their cause, Captain America continues undaunted on his mission…which brought him through Newton County this past week.

Arrested dozens of times as he tirelessly walks the roadways across the nation to raise awareness of the plight of military veterans and others and funds to help their cause, Captain America continues undaunted on his mission…which brought him through Newton County this past week.
“I’ve been walking since 2009,” noted Captain America, also known as Allen Mullins of Springfield. “And what I’ve done is made it my goal to go out here and to walk for VFWs (Veterans of Foreign Wars posts), American Legions, or anybody that needs help. And right now I am walking for the Native Americans out of Warm Springs, Ore. and for their VFW and American Legion, skate park for the kids and a homeless shelter for their tribe. It’s going to be a new VFW, a new American Legion, a skate park and also a homeless shelter.”
VFW Post 4217 is the beneficiary of his current efforts.
Originally from Dalton, Ga., Mullins expects to walk his 80,000th mile at the completion of his current journey, having previously walked to every state capitol except Alaska and Hawaii at least twice and a 5,000 walk across the country.
Instead of continuing to go across the country, his latest format is to take a 500 mile round trip from his Springfield base, and he is currently on his way from there to Oklahoma City and back. He’ll take a two-week sabbatical and then determine another destination about 250 miles away and will start walking again.
Mullins contacts American Legions and VFWs along each route to let them know what he is doing so they can engage the local press to showcase his mission to help.
“And I’m going to keep doing that until they make their money,” he promised.
Along the route, Mullins provides the public he meets with information about how to help. The goal for the current project is $250,000, and donations can be made online at https://www.gofundme.com/cpt-america/donate.
He also takes advantage of opportunities to speak before the public.
“I give speeches and stuff at like VFWs, American Legions, I’ve gave speeches at schools, I’ve gave speeches at retirement homes for veterans, and I’ve gave speeches at libraries,” Mullins disclosed. “And they always donate. They’ll take a collection and then they’ll send the money in to them.”

Finding necessities
Depending on the people he meets, Mullins expect to arrive in Oklahoma City in the next week or two. Along the way, with only his costume and a backpack the need for food and sleep are figured out on the fly.
“There’s three ways that I’ve learned doing these kinds of things,” he advised. “One, if you pick up every nickel and dime that you see it adds up. Sometimes you just run across people that like what you are doing and they want to help you out. And I tell them, ‘Yeah, Gatorade and a couple of cans of food.’ Sometimes there’s food pantries and food banks.”
Mullins got an opportunity to cool his heels and be well-fed for a couple of days in Newton County, when Carl Knier pulled over while he was walking along U.S. Highway 60 in Neosho Tuesday and brought Captain America to his home between Neosho and Diamond.
“He’d seen me on Facebook, he got out, talked to me and let me come stay a couple of days with him to rest up,” he said.

A change in strategy
Mullins first walk was with four others from Alexandria, La. to Atlanta, Ga. to raise funds to build houses with gardens for returning veterans. However, all of the others being veterans, he said they wanted something out of it themselves and he lamented that he had to portion out shares of what was raised to them.
He determined to continue alone at that point, and spent four months figuring out how to get out of Atlanta. And he credits a cop for the idea to start wearing a uniform, though other police have hindered his progress at times.
He made and distributed fliers for the Homeless Coalition for Veterans while receiving regular updates on the numbers of veterans who are homeless.
“So I printed off those papers, I was handing them out to people and I was telling them simple things they could do,” Mullins instructed. “And people kept calling the cops saying I was harassing them. So this cop looked at me one day and said, ‘Dude, you’ve got to figure out a way to get people to come to you.’ And one cop said, ‘What about Batman?’ And I actually thought about the costume ordeal and I thought, ‘You know what, that’s one way that one person can do a walk, as long as you do it right, that people are going to notice. Somebody’s going to pull over and want to be curious of what you’re doing. So I started running with the costumes.”
He experimented with about 20 costumes to find what people liked the most, found Superman was very popular, but in advance of the Captain America movie the costume became easier to acquire and Mullins took on that persona about 2010 or 2011 and hasn’t looked back. Previously, that costume could only be found in expensive leather.
“And I’m not wearing leather,” he declared. “Not walking around in this heat. It adds about 10 to 15 degrees to what it is.”

Helping veterans
Mullins is not a veteran, and said what he does is not exclusively for veterans, but it just works out that most of his walks are to benefit veterans.
“It just happens to play out that way, which is fine for me,” he maintained. “Because the whole point of my 5,000 mile walk was to go around the country and I wanted to talk to as many veterans as I could that were homeless and try to figure out why they were there. And most of the ones I met were from the Vietnam era.”
After listen to the vets and doing some research, Mullins said he understands why some of them became homeless and why some remain homeless.
“You get treated like that as a kid, they came back as a kid,” he voiced. “They’re not coming back 40 or 50 year old that’s served in the military for 20 or 30 years. These kids were over there when they were like 17 or 18 and came back by the time they were 21 or 22 at the most for the average ones. And then they get treated the way they did and they become homeless, they stay homeless, and they isolate themselves from the people; I understand that. That’s understandable.
“And I don’t think they are to blame. I think that society and the system is to blame. And we should make up for our mistakes but instead we keep repeating our self. So I just keep doing what I am doing until – I know I’m not going to change the world, I’m not trying to do that. Everything that you do you have to take the smallest steps first and then let them lead to something bigger.”
Mullins efforts have led to prosthetic legs for veterans and wheelchairs for others.
“I’ve helped a person keep from losing a house in foreclosure,” he continued. “I’ve walked for multiple VFWs, and it’s all volunteer work. It wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t volunteer. Too many people will do nothing without something. Sometimes when you see someone that needs a little help it’s good to offer it and help them without asking anything from it or expecting anything. The way I look at it, those who expect something do less; those who expect nothing do more.”
Murphy’s Law #1: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished
Walking the roads of America in a costume has been an eye-opener for Mullins, who was once knocked unconscious when a passing truck driver in Washington took exception and hit him in the head with a beer bottle. He also had a trucker try to run him off the road.
Then, there is law enforcement that isn’t always accepting of his presence.
“I’ve been arrested 32 times for illegal parading without a permit,” Mullins enlightened. “And one thing I’ve learned through going out to the states is that they can hold you up to 48 hours without no calls at all. But on the third day, they have to release you, or you have to be charged.”
Those stays in jail have amounted to close to 100 days for a charge he claims isn’t even real.
“That’s why they released me, I’ve never seen a judge on none of them,” Mullins claimed.
He is saddened that many times he has been arrested while performing his mission to help veterans it is a police officer who is a veteran that makes the arrest.
“Most of them told me that it’s none of my business – the veterans are none of my business because I’m not a veteran,” he bemoaned. “I’m like, ‘Well that’s a problem because most people make it none of their business, even the government, that’s why the veterans are in the position they are in.’ But it’s alright, I forgive them.”
Strongly discouraged by lack of respect and dignity provided by our society and government to its veterans, Mullins will continue his effort to help.
“It’s like a mockery when they do the things that they do,” he concluded. “It’s just like people that go over there and serve – it’s like they didn’t even serve. It’s kind of pathetic.