Army veteran Ernesto Rodriguez is finishing up one very important journey across the United States to help his fellow military veterans.
Rodriguez was in the U.S. Army for 15 years, serving time in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Late last year, he decide to embark on an ambitious 2,200 mile walk across the U.S.
Hailing from Tennessee, Rodriguez began his walk on Veterans Day in order to raise awareness to Veterans suffering from PTSD. But why 2,200 miles?
Rodriguez said he walks in honor of the 22 Veterans who commit suicide every day, according to a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs report.
“Now that my walk is over, doesn’t mean my message is,” Rodriguez explained.
While on his journey, he took social media by storm. By posting updates of his trip, Rodriguez brought awareness and motivated others to help create change.
Rodriguez credits his ability to complete the walk to his military training. This provides him with both mental and physical strength.
Spending most of his days walking, eating and resting, Rodriguez averages 16-20 miles a day equipped with a 60 pound bag and American flag.
Throughout his journey, Rodriguez said he relies on the kindness of strangers when it comes to food and shelter.
Although he began his trek in Clarksville, Tenn., Rodriguez will now be resting his feet in Los Angeles.