A trio of orange-shirted, Old Glory waving veterans got plenty of honks and thumbs-up from drivers-by in Tacoma, Lakewood and Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Tuesday.
But the trio's walk wasn't just for show. In fact, they were walking for something that's a serious problem: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Iraq War veterans Chess Johnson, Andy Britt, and Will Carroll made their way via ferry from Naval Base Kitsap to Point Defiance. Then, with flags waving collectively from their backpacks, they trekked some 13 miles south to Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
The purpose of their march: raising awareness about PTSD, which has been a central issue for American soldiers returning from deployment. PTSD is also under a microscope the Army continues to track military suicides and the world watches the military court hearing of accussed Afghanistan shooter Staff Sgt. Robert Bales of JBLM.
Former Patch columnist and Tacoma blogger Candace Brown cuaght up with the walkers and posted a great piece on her blog, Good Life Northwest. Here's an excerpt:
“We’re marching from Bremerton Naval Base to Fort Lewis, trying to connect three branches that have posts here in the state of Washington,” Johnson told me, “bringing awareness of Posttraumatic Stress Diagnosis, Traumatic Brain Injury, soldier suicide, and over-medication of soldiers.”
What an effective way to spread the word. Great job, guys, and of course, thank you so much for your service.