Veterans walk pier-to-pier for a good cause

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ODESSA, Tx. (KOSA) - Two veterans are walking coast-to-coast with the mission to spread awareness about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other struggles some military members face after returning home.

The two said they will keep going talking and informing locals until they reach Santa Monica Pier in May.

Before starting their journey, John Ring and Jimmy Matthews were strangers.

The only thing they had in common: they both served in our nation's military.

Although, with close to 1,500 miles under their belt, the two veterans have become more like brothers.

With one foot in front of the other, the two are walking pier-to-pier to raise awareness for veterans and struggles they face daily.

"Veterans are struggling all around the county. It is not isolated to one area; it is not isolated to one branch of service. It is not isolated to one gender. Men and women all deal with the same issues,” said Ring.
These issues are why the journey started.

Ring and Matthews tell CBS7 News that PTSD, homelessness, unemployment and just readjusting to regular civilian life are all battles veterans have to overcome when returning home.

"I want the community to reach out and let them know they are not alone. When they are in their time of struggle when you see a veteran thank them for their service and let them know they are not alone in this fight,” said Matthews.

The mission started in October at Tybee Island in Georgia.

The two said they will keep going talking and informing locals until they reach Santa Monica Pier in May.

"Veterans pretty much just want you to know that they are struggling. They are human beings. They just want to talk to people that understand and want the community to reach out and let them know they are not alone,” said Matthews.

Waving at passing cars on Highway 191, the two reached their West Texas destination with help from Odessa Fire Rescue.

The veterans have already walked through places like Stanton, Big Spring, and Midland.

They hope at least one veteran is impacted by their walk.

"We are all on the same mission out here. We are all trying to help veterans. We are all trying to raise awareness of the issue. I think that is probably the biggest message that I can give. That is just not West Texas, not just Texas, that is all over the county,” said Ring.

Ring and Matthews said the impact for veterans goes even further when local veteran organizations work together.