Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Veteran leans on walking sticks for therapy

Veteran leans on walking sticks for therapy

HAMPTON — Sen. Mark R. Warner is an urban-dwelling Northern Virginian of the first order, down to the crisp suit and sharp haircut. But during a recent visit to the Hampton VA Medical Center, one accessory seemed out of place.

The senator emerged from a building with a hand-carved, ornate walking stick more suited to the Appalachian Trail than the concrete jungle he calls home.

By way of explanation, Warner pointed across the hospital campus to a bearded man in a broad hat who carves the sticks as part of his therapy. Warner said he would give the stick to a deserving veteran. Then he took a second stick, shaking it in front of TV cameras, vowing to use it on stubborn...