Charles City, Iowa – He’s a veteran, saving other veterans one mile at a time.
38-year-old Eli Smith is on a journey to all four corners raising awareness for veteran PTSD and suicide. The journey started in 2016 in Pensacola Florida. He walked to Cape Flattery by Washington State, but Smith says he needed new wheels.
On Friday night he finished a near 100-mile leg from Rochester to Charles City. Saturday morning, he set out for Waterloo. Every journey has bumps in the road. Smith’s eluded a kidnapping, a bounty on his head from a gang. He’s been hit by a car and he’s gotten lost in the woods. These struggles seem small to Smith, but he says it’s worth it.
You might ask yourself why does Eli Smith do this? He’d tell you because he’s seen the effects of PTSD and suicide firsthand. He served as a Tank Gunner at Camp Kasey near the D-M-Z in South Korea.
On two wheels, peddling mile after mile across the lower 48, he’s received 11 letters from Veterans who’ve made a decision not to end their life. You can follow Smith’s journey by following him on Facebook or Instagram at four-corners-hike. There isn’t a timetable on his final destination, but he’ll ride back to Key West, Florida.