Stories of veterans are often in the news, but not as often as they should be or maybe not the right stories or they are not being read by the right people because how else can we explain the number of veterans who commit suicide each day? How can we justify the number of veterans who are homeless?
Two veterans decided they wanted to do something about it and they set out on a journey of 2,700 miles that was as mentally exhausting as it was physically. They walked across the country in all kinds of weather, using their skills to overcome obstacles and they used their time to reflect, but also to focus on the beauty of the country they pledged to defend.
Along the way they made friends of fellow veterans who came out to walk a bit of the way or offer them food or shelter. They found inspiration in the stories of others, some suffering with the same symptoms and others struggling with worse.
After the trek they made changes in their lifestyles to help them adapt and cope and they are advocating for the VA to implement more options that address mental issues, particularly alternative therapies like mindfulness and meditation.
The two veterans, Anthony Anderson and Tom Voss are even featured in a film about their journey from the War Memorial Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Santa Monica, California. The film is called Almost Sunrise.
Do you know someone or a group of people who are trying to raise awareness and support for veterans? Nominate them for next week’s AmericanTown’s Heroes.