We’ve heard of cross-country hiking trips before, but army veteran Eli Smith is taking it a step further, several thousand steps further.
“I’m hiking to the four corners of the continental US. It’s about 13,000 miles. I’m raising awareness of PTSD and the suicide rate in the veteran community,” Smith said.
His journey started just a few days ago in Fort Pickens, and he was passing through Elberta for Thanksgiving where the VFW welcomed him in for a bite to eat.
Smith said he felt compelled to sell his belongings and begin the challenging adventure after losing so many fellow service men and women to PTSD. ” I was just tired of almost every week hearing one of my friends…well they’re gone. I’ll never see them again,” Smith said as he held back tears.” If I can help save just one life, one father that will be able to watch his little girl walk down the aisle, one child that will not be laid to rest while their parents are handed the American flag, one mother that will be able to hold her grandchild for the first time, it will all be worth it.”
Smith predicts it will take him roughly three and a half years to complete the hike, and Friday he’ll be passing through Mobile.
Every day he’ll be hiking in memory of a service member who lost his or her life to suicide, and you can follow his journey at 4CornersHike on Facebook or sponsor the hike at patreon.com/4cornershike.