By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Fort Hood Herald

Friends high five; strangers shake hands.

A high five may be less formal, Marine Reserve Col. John Folsom said Friday, but it can be more meaningful than a handshake.

Folsom, who is set to retire this fall after 30 years of service, is high fiving his way across the United States this summer in an effort to gain support for Gold Star families and wounded veterans and their loved ones.

Folsom made a stop at III Corps headquarters Friday to give out some high fives and talk about his non-profit organization, Wounded Warriors Family Support.

The group's mission "is to provide support to the families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations," according to its website, "The families of our casualties suffer in many ways: some financially, some psychologically."

Wounded Warriors Family Support helps by giving families time together at one of its two resort condominiums in Galveston and Orlando. They are "quiet havens where war torn families can reunite and become stronger," according to the website.

Folsom hopes that by traveling across the country and giving out what he called the "quintessential American thing," people will be compelled to support wounded warriors and their families.

Sgt. Jeremiah Luttmer is preparing to re-class and join a unit after spending more than two years in the Warrior Transition Brigade's Alpha Company, 1st Battalion. He was at III Corps headquarters on Friday to welcome Folsom and get a high five.

It's great to get Folsom's support, Luttmer said, and of everyone who supports his organization.

The former combat medic attended last week's event because he wanted to put support back into the community.

Folsom has already visited about 40 cities in three weeks, and said his goal is to visit 41 states and travel 10,000 miles. Among his adventures along the way, Folsom jumped with the Golden Knights and flew with the Blue Angels.

The tour started in Omaha, Neb., headquarters for Wounded Warriors Family Support. Folsom was in Philadelphia, New York City, Baltimore and Washington, D.C., on July 4 in an attempt to claim the world record for the most high fives given in 24 hours, according to information from the organization.

Learn more about Folsom's high-five tour of America by visiting or

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at or (254) 501-7547. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

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