CINCINNATI, OH. (WKRC) – A U.S. Army Veteran is walking across the country to raise awareness for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sunday, Stephen Meyers made his way through Cincinnati. The journey began in Kansas City, Mo. back in February. The trek can be lonely but, along the way, Meyers has met some new friends.
“It’s therapeutic for me,” said Meyers.
Meyers spent 20 years in the military, serving time in Iraq and Afghanistan. Back in 2007 he said he began dealing with PTSD and sought out help, but it didn’t take.
“I struggled with it, I went to get care, I felt betrayed so I backed away from any kind of care,” said Meyers.
Eventually he came back.
“Things were getting worse for me, so, explaining how that works to other people going through similar issues, letting them know they are not the only ones that have this problem,” said Meyers.
The walk is also part of the therapy: getting to share stories with people who understand.
“The only way to get things better is to talk about it, sharing information, sharing stories of what works for us and what doesn’t work for us,” said Meyers.
On the walk Meyers makes intentional stops at legion halls, post stations, and law enforcement stations; meeting with officers and veterans, some also dealing with PTSD.
“PTSD is not just military related. It involves everybody in the community. It’s something we need to do a better job in recognizing and seeking treatment for,” said Cincinnati Police Sgt. David Corlett.
Corlett is the Departments Liaison Coordinator. After meeting Meyers, the two had lunch together before Meyers left town.
“At the end of this journey I hope to say I opened a national dialogue of PTSD. I just want people to talk about it,” said Meyers.
After leaving Cincinnati, Meyers will walk through Louisville, Nashville and down to Jacksonville. From there the coast to coast portion of the walk begins. The end goal is California.