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Col. Don Fallin (center, in blue) poses for a photo with the group of hikers who completed the 70-mile Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Peru.

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Man on a mission

Col. Don Fallin is going the distance for the children of fallen and wounded soldiers

Cullman native and Fairview High School alumnus Col. Don Fallin is a veteran on the move - literally. Fallin, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point who retired from the United States Army after a 30-year, decorated career in 2016, is spending his retirement supporting the children of fallen and disabled service members.

Raising funds and awareness for the nonprofit Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund, Fallin has completed three adventurous treks so far. He hiked the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail (solo!) in 2018, reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with a small group in 2021 and late this summer, Fallin and another small group completed the 70-mile Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Peru.

“We are in final stages planning the next fundraiser, summiting Mount Aconcagua in Argentina,” said Fallin. “It is 22,800 feet, the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas. That will be Jan 22-Feb. 10, 2023.”

To date, Fallin has raised more than $100,000 for education scholarships through the Fund.

I started out as a private in the Army and was fortunate to have had an amazing Army career, culminating as an Army Aviation special operations commander in Afghanistan. Growing up on a small farm, I am blessed to have had the opportunity to serve my country alongside its most precious resource, the men and women that volunteered to serve our country while at war. I have eight combat tours, with a combined total time of four years, six months in combat zones, which included infantry, aviation, airborne and special operations. I am blessed, and supporting the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund is the way I can give back,” said Fallin. “I enlisted in the Army as a private to get the college fund so I could get the money to help go to school, so supporting a great cause that provides education scholarships to the children of our fallen heroes rings true to me.”

Learn more about the Johnny Mac Soldiers Fund at www.johnnymac.org.

  • Col. Don Fallin stands in front of Machu Picchu.
  • Col. Don Fallin (center, in blue) poses for a photo with the group of hikers who completed the 70-mile Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu in Peru.