CALHOUN, La (12/13/19) — Two veterans are walking across the United States in hopes of drawing attention to veterans and what they experience after they return home.
John Ring and Jimmy Mathews are on a mission to share their story and meet other veterans along the way.
What began as an idea a few years ago, turned into reality as they embark on a journey that would consume their lives for almost a year.
“I set out on October first on the Tybee Island Pier to walk to the Santa Monica pier in California. To raise awareness for veterans with PTSD, homelessness, addiction, MST, and basically everything that’s leading us to a high number of veteran suicide,” said John Ring, Veteran Walking.
The two will travel 2,462 miles coast to coast and have plans to end at Santa Monica Pier in April next year.
Jimmy Mathews saw Ring on social media and decided to join him on the walk across the country.
Mathews says the walk is almost like therapy for him and his past as a veteran dealing with PTSD, addiction, and homelessness.
Ring started the walk to fund raise for a program called Buddy Watch which is a non-profit that helps build tiny homes for homeless veterans.
“A lot of people have been reaching out saying we’re inspiring them, so maybe we can spark the interest in their community so hopefully they can start programs like this to raise money to start the tiny homes,” said Jimmy Mathews, Veteran Walking.
In addition to meeting so many people throughout the country, Ring is getting a tattoo in every state to remember his journey for change. He says anyone can join them on the walk for an hour, a day, or even the entire journey to Santa Monica.
“Come out and walk with us,” said Ring.