Army vet hikes across the country for PTSD awareness: 'It's making a difference'
PORTLAND, Ore. - Army veteran Eli Smith is walking to all four corners of the United States to raise awareness about veteran PTSD.
The Ohio native started his journey by heading to Pensacola, Florida. He has since crossed the nation and started up the West Coast, now moving through Oregon while on his way to Cape Flattery, Wash.
He said he took on the mission to walk to all four corners of the U.S. to help prevent suicide among veterans. The 13-thousand-mile hike will take him about three-and-a-half years to finish.
Eli said his walk has helped save several lives already.
So far, he's received six letters from veterans saying they reached out for help and are still alive thanks to Eli's hike.
"And that's - I mean … I can't even explain how that feels. I'm just some guy walking around with a backpack, you know. I'm homeless and jobless and it's making a difference," said Eli.
Eli said he's not looking for money; all he wants to do is help connect people to support the troops. He said there are many ways to help veterans in need. One of the easiest ways, he says, is by reaching out.
“Just say ‘hi,’ or send a text. That can make a world of difference,” said Smith.
He also now wants find a way to get to Houston to help people affected by Hurricane Harvey.
To help Eli's journey, you can contact him through his website.