Veteran hiking in the US to raise PTSD awareness
Marine Corps veteran Roy Wesley Brady, Jr. on a mission to honor his brother and help veterans with mental health problems.
A Navy veteran is making his second tour through the United States in an attempt to raise awareness for other vets who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological problems.
Ron Wesley Brady, Jr., a retired gunnery sergeant in the marine Corps is currently making its way through Arkansas in the fourth month of his journey walking across the country. He does it all in the name of his brother, Major Brady, who committed suicide after suffering from mental health problems.
“My goal is to raise awareness for PTSD, traumatic brain injury, and suicide,” he told FOX5 Atlanta. “We have to do with 22 a day, right? We need to get out and talk to each other. Veterans, we need to talk to veterans. We understand each other.”
The 22-year-old veteran, who was twice deployed to Iraq, on 5 March from San Diego on the way to Quantico, Virginia, where his brother is buried. He will continue on to Trenton, N. J., where his friend and fellow Marine Tommy Simpson, committed suicide.
On the Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge website, Brady said he is doing the walk “because it must be done.”
“I’m walking to make people aware of these problems, who will listen to me. If you saw me walking along the road, with my backpack and a Marine Corps flag waving behind me…and looked at me, then my plan worked. You are here to learn about the difficulties that injured service members face,” he said.
Brady told THV11 he wants veterans and civilians alike to start the conversation.
“They have a family member somewhere, where they can say, ‘Hey, let’s talk about your problems.’ We are stubborn as soldiers. I’m very stubborn,” he said. “But sometimes you have to sit down with someone who understands you and put your problems on the table. Because taking your life is not the way. Life is so much better.”
This is not the first time that Brady has been running in the whole country.
In 2015, the veteran left Charlotte, N. C., on the foot walk for almost six months and more than 3,000 miles to Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, California.
Brady is expected that New Jersey is somewhere in September. To follow his journey, visit his Facebook page.
Lucia I. Suarez Sang a Reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang