At 1 p.m. today, March 6, veteran Stephen Meyers will be making one of many stops in Metamora as he walks across America for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If asked to picture someone walking across America, many would probably have a visual of Tom Hanks as the beloved character, “Forest Gump”, when he just started “running” across all these fantastic backdrops until he was tired and went home.

But that is Hollywood. Someone runs across the country just because they want to until they get too tired and go home. For no reason other than Gump just felt like running. And in Hollywood, that will gain a crowd of followers.

The real-life version of someone walking across America is much different. Meyers began a 6,000-mile trek across the country on Feb. 15. The starting point was at the WWI Museum Tower in Kansas City, Missouri, and unlike Forrest Gump, Meyers knows precisely where he is going and why.
Meyers will end his walk in San Diego, California, before Thanksgiving. Meyers will spend 10 months walking across 20 states prior to the arrival in California, though. He isn’t seeking a group of followers. Instead, he is seeking out people he can help.

The people that are following Stephen closely are veterans who have caught wind of his purpose. These “followers” are offering their brother help. Help in the form of a bed, place to stay, hot meal or a couple of miles covered in a car instead of on foot. All because they believe in Meyers’ purpose.

A purpose close to their heart.

“I want to spread a message of hope to those suffering in silence,” Meyers said.

Meyers is referencing the brave men and women who protect and serve our country, who are silently suffering from the aftermath of trauma. Meyers knows personally the need to know there is hope and that PTSD does not forever damage him as he himself, served his country in the wars in Iraq from 2005-2007 and Afghanistan in 2013 and quietly suffered himself for years before getting help.

Meyers struggled with survivor’s guilt, has had the thousand-yard stare and the death wish.

He has endured flashbacks and blackouts.

He still wishes he could go back in time and save some good people.

As Meyers walks, he will speak with veterans, first responders and medical professionals about (PTSD) and suicide.

“People want to talk to someone who has answers to the questions they have asked a thousand times,” Meyers said. People should hear PTSD does not forever damage them. They need to know they can overcome it.”

Meyers is in Franklin County today, raising awareness locally. His walk started this morning at sunrise in Rushville. The Franklin County Sherriff escort will meet him in Andersonville, and at 1 p.m. Meyers will be in Metamora at the Gateway Park 19067 US HWY 52. He is making a quick stop to talk to anyone who shows up. Then he will continue to Brookville, where he will again speak at the VFW Fish Fry between 6 - 6:30 p.m. His work won’t end with the VFW this evening, though. [Meyers will still have interviews and messages to answer in between walking, talking and the impromptu events he attends]

At sunrise tomorrow, after a long day and late-night, Meyers will move on; because there are more men and women who need his help. He is heading towards Green Township in Cincinnati.