Walking across American to bring awareness to veteran suicide.
Twenty-two veterans a day take their own lives. 22 brave men and woman who deserve better. This is absolutely heartbreaking, especially considering what these veterans gave up for our freedom and safety. It’s also saddening that no matter what the military tries, this number sees only minor changes each year. However, one thing that we can do is increase awareness of this epidemic. Acknowledging the problem is important. We need to bring awareness to this epidemic and educate the public about how they can help. We can educate in hopes that one of us steps in and gives a helping hand to a veteran in psychological pain.
Ernesto Rodriguez believes in this wholeheartedly and on Wednesday he completes what is surely one of the greatest accomplishments of his life: a 2,200 walk across the country, from Clarksville, Tennessee to Santa Monica, California. He’s set to arrive on Wednesday, April 19th and will stake a flag in the ground at the Santa Monica Pier and do 22 pushups #forthe22 veterans that commit suicide every day. However impressive this challenge may be though, Ernesto would like everyone to know that it pales in comparison to the daily battles and psychological pain that veterans with PTSD
Ernesto is a 15 year veteran who served four tours of duty, including time in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He was medically discharged due to injuries. When he returned to civilian life he suffered from PTSD himself. Although he’s improved from where he once was, he did lose friends to suicide from PTSD-related depression, leading him to start his 2,200 mile journey.
You can follow Ernesto’s journey online by following #forthe22, @nerdnesto (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat). His journey is supported and celebrated by the American Soldier Network and Team RWB.