MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A North Myrtle Beach veteran has embarked on a 5,000 mile journey to raise money and awareness for a condition that effects people overseas, as well as here at home.
Corporal Ryan Weldon, a 34-year-old Marine Corps Veteran, who joined in 1999, and was active until 2003, has embarked on a 5,000 mile walk from the East coast of Delaware to the coast San Francisco, California. He has chosen to follow the Great American Discovery Trail, which stretches 6,800 miles across the United States of America.
Weldon said the idea to walk was motivated by a combination of factors, and after reading an article in Time magazine entitled “This Bill Could Help Veterans With Mental Health,” he was inspired.
“I had a dream Christmas Eve, and woke up Christmas Day with the urge to walk across the U.S. -
is on the rise," Weldon said. "I thought why not do this? You need to go ahead and get this out there in the open. We need to get rid of the stigma attached to mental disorders and start talking about them.”
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, affects about 7 to 8 percent of the population at some point in their lives. Around 5.2 million adults have PTSD during a given year, and only a small portion of those affected have experienced a trauma.
This trip has high stakes for Weldon. He has sold his car, and turned down a couple job offers, but he feels getting the conversation about mental disease started is worth it. Weldon is currently in Maryland, and plans to be in Washington D.C. by the end of the week. As he
he's been staying with millitary families and supporters of his cause. As he walks he's been sending
to his Facebook
. Originally he gave himself a five thousand dollar budget, but now that donations have surpassed his expected goal, he plans to
all proceeds to his two sponsors: