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The transition from active duty to civilian life poses challenges for any veteran. Recognizing that having to become reaccustomed with day to day life, and to set aside the training and instinctual reactions taught by the military as being no easy feat, Marine Corps Captains, Mark Silvers and Sean Gobin turned to nature to help become reassimilated into life after service.

On March 17, 13 veterans made their way to the Appalachian Trail to begin a six month thru hike of the trail as part of the Warrior Hike's “Walk off the War” program. The Walk Off The War Program is designed to support wounded veterans transitioning from military service by hiking the Appalachian Trail. This weekend, the 13 hikers will be stopping in Franklin to meet with members of the American Legion Post 108.


Soon the weather in Franklin, just like in the rest of the Southeast, will start to change. Flowers will begin to bloom, the snow will cease to fall, and hikers will file into town officially signally the beginnings of spring. Though there are many trails around the region that attract people from all over and of all different experience levels, none are more well known than the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).


The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee and Friends of the Greenway will host an educational event on the Franklin Greenway in conjunction with N.C. Invasive Species Awareness Week on Wednesday, April 3, from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m. at the Tassee Shelter.

The N.C. Invasive Species Awareness week was designated for the first time last year to raise awareness of problems caused by invasive exotic plants. The Greenway event will cover awareness of other invasive species as well.


The Smoky Mountain Flying Club has purchased a Light Sport Aircraft for use by its members and new student pilots.

It is a 2007 Evektor sport aircraft which seats two pilots in a bubble canopy with the latest electronic instrument panel. This is a new FAA category of aircraft which does not require the stringent FAA medical. Licensed private pilots who are current can qualify by taking the ground school that will be offered by the club and take a check ride on the aircraft. Student pilots need 20 hours of training (15 hours with instructor and 5 hours solo) and can fly it on a valid U.S. driver’s license as evidence of medical eligibility.


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