Everyday Hero: Andy Green racks up the miles and smiles

Andy Green (right) and his walking companions. (KATU Photo)

Sometimes doing something heroic means doing something simple – taking life one step at a time, for example.

This week’s Everyday Hero is racking up the miles and smiles through walking, and he’s inspiring others to do the same.

After he’s done with his daily trek around the track, 94-year-old Andy Green enjoys having a Frosty and a burger with his walking companions.

After committing himself to a daily walk about 10 years ago, he admits he doesn’t move like he used to.

“I would walk 52 laps every morning. That’s four miles, but it’s been going down ever since,” he says.

But he doesn’t quit. That’s why he’s a hero to his friends.

“I never have been close to being a hero,” he says, “but I was the only guy in the Pacific Fleet in World War II who could dig a foxhole in a steel deck with my bare knuckles. That was called fear.”

Kathy Houge and her husband walk with Andy just about every day. She brings Andy home-baked cookies. He eats them up after he walks.

“When we started walking at Firstenburg, the first person we met was Andy,” Kathy says. “He is so positive. One thing I remember about him when we walked in, he had the most wonderful smile on his face, and he’s just like a magnet.”

Says Andy: “When I was a little kid tearing out the front door to catch the school bus, I would hear my mom say, ‘Help someone smile today.’”

Maybe the only thing Andy does better than walk and smile is telling a tale.

“He just tells them over and over,” says Andy’s son-in-law Rich Lindsey. “I keep saying we need to write these down, so when he’s gone we have all these stories. But there’s so many of them, I can’t keep up with him.”

Says Andy: “I’ll be back again (walking) tomorrow morning, the good Lord willing.”

Andy just got his driver’s license renewed. It’s good for another six years. He says he’s ready to renew it again when he hits 100.

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