Army Veteran Walks Across Country to Raise PTSD, TBI Awareness

Published 08/25 2014 04:52PM

Updated 08/25 2014 06:25PM

PEKIN – A 23 year old U.S. Army veteran is drumming attention nationwide.

Eric Peters is walking more than 2,500 miles. He left from Clark, NJ in June and his end destination is Santa Monica, CA.

It’s all to raise money and awareness for veterans struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.

On Monday morning, Peters said goodbye to new friends he made while in Pekin. It was time to hit the road again.

He said he saw a growing problem and had to take action to fix it.

“A lot of veterans aren't being helped with PTSD [and] TBI,” said Peters. “They [the VA]  promise you that you're always going to be taken care of, but in the past couple times, a lot of people hadn't been taken care of.”

His cross-country journey is personal. He said he knows just how important it is for veterans to have support once they return home from overseas.

“I got back [from Afghanistan]. I stayed in my house for about a month and a half. Closed door, closed windows, shades down [and] I didn't talk to anybody. I didn't want anything to do with anybody. You know? And someone reached out to me and kind of broke me out of my shell.”

It was that helping hand that motivated Peters to start his efforts with “No Veteran Walks Alone.”

“We're all here for you. We're in the military. We're a brotherhood.”

He’s battled the heat, and he’s raising awareness and funds for veterans battling PTSD and TBI with each stop he makes.

“[People] see me carrying all of this and they think, ‘Oh, look at this crazy guy.’ But if they ask me, then they're empowered with knowledge with me.”

Peters said all of the donations go to Give An Hour.

John Stoor, a veteran living in Pekin, opened his doors to Peters. Storr said he and his motorcycle club happily welcomed him into their family.

“Myself being a veteran with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and in fact, my club that I ride with, the Wolfhounds, being made up primarily of veterans with PTSD, we were glad to take on the cause.”

Peters headed towards Springfield, MO next.

Click here for more information on “No Veteran Walks Alone.”
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