EAGLE MOUNTAIN — If you find yourself driving on state Route 73, between Eagle Mountain and Cedar Fort, you may notice a campsite consisting of a large tent and a trailer adorned with two American flags.
At first glance, you may assume the inhabitants are just another statistic in the over 600,000 homeless in the United States; and you would be right. However, if you look a little deeper, you will find there is more to the story.
Dressed in original camo from his days as a U.S. Army soldier, Roy Glieter is on a mission traveling across the U.S. Gleiter most recently lived in Mississippi and was there when Hurricane Katrina struck. The disaster left him homeless with only a 5 foot by 12 foot trailer he packed with all of his belongings.
Like many, Glieter found himself not only homeless, but without any identifying papers. Because of this, he was unable to find employment and was forced to haul all of his belongings in the trailer to stay with family in Jackson County, Colorado.
Once there, Glieter was met with adversity, and was ultimately told by law enforcement he was no longer welcome, and was sent on his way.
“I did not choose my circumstances, but I can choose what I do with them," Glieter said.
After being continually told by law enforcement that he had to move his trailer, Glieter decided to turn his circumstances into something productive.
I have pushed that trailer from Richfield, Mississippi, to Colorado, from Colorado and back again, to Washington D.C., to protest for all of us. It isn't the people who are broken; it's the system.
With his 7,000-pound trailer in tow, and pulling it by hand, Glieter began a protest march to Washington, D.C., to change the way the homeless are treated. Moving at an average of one mile per day when he is on the move, Glieter has added even more meaning to his protest for what he calls the “worsening impoverishment of America's middle class” and what he sees as the “government's fixation on enriching the rich.”
"I have pushed that trailer from Richfield, Mississippi, to Colorado, from Colorado and back again, to Washington D.C., to protest for all of us," Gleiter said. “It isn’t the people who are broken; it’s the system.”
Glieter said he wanted to make it clear that he was not trying to resist authority and was doing all he could to set up camp in areas he is legally able to do so. Staying off of interstates, and camping mostly on BLM land, Glieter’s current location unknowingly found him on privately owned land. However, not long after hearing his land was being used, the owner was quick to allow Glieter to stay through the winter.
When talking about the kindness he has received during his stay in Utah, Glieter said his stay here has been second to only that of his time on an Indian reservation in Pueblo, Colo.
He spoke well of local law enforcement, even getting teary when he mentioned the death of Sgt. Cory Wride that took place just a few miles from his campsite.
Glieter said he knows it will soon be time for him to move on and continue his trek, and hopes that in doing so, he will be able to spread his message to even more people along the way.
Arianne Brown is a mother of six who loves running the beautiful trails around Utah. For more articles by her, "like" her Facebook page by searching "A mother's Write" or visit her blogs, timetofititin.com or thestoriesofyourlife.wordpress.com.