A Conroe resident and his service dog went for a walk on April 16 and they have not stopped since then. Ken Meyer and his white dog ‘Hope’ are walking all across Texas to raise awareness for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

A U.S. Air Force Security Police veteran is marching 628 miles around Texas in a march he has called ‘Never Quit March.’

This was  part of a campaign he’s carrying out about the awareness of Post Traumatic Disorder. Interestingly enough for a local veteran, Meyer is also LSF Retreat Attendee, Advocate and Volunteer.

Ken Meyer plans to walk 22 miles a day, alongside his dog Hope
Ken Meyer plans to walk 22 miles a day in recognition of the 22 veterans who take their lives every day. Image Credit: Woodlands Online

As part of his campaign motto, Meyer excludes the ‘D’ from PTSD because he states that the word “disorder” causes confusion. People who are not aware of the mental condition may have a misconception of Post Traumatic Stress. When hearing the word disorder in no matter circumstances, people tend to stigmatize the issue and the main idea of his cause might get lost in the way.

On April 16, Meyer started the journey at 10 a.m. from VFW Post 4709 in Conroe down to Galveston’s Bolivar Peninsula. On May 28, Meyer hopes to attend to Texas Frog Fest 2016. The event intends to offer a sort of tribute for veterans and their families. It’s worth mentioning the event includes a getaway as well as counseling sessions.

During his 628 miles march, Meyer has alternated between 19 and 22 miles per day. All along his way, he has tried to spread a message of awareness for ‘PTS’ and to educate about the purpose of the Lone Survivor Foundation. Notably, Meyer is one of the most renowned advocates within the foundation. 

Also, Meyer’s miles per day has meaning he wants to expand. On one hand, 19 miles to honor the 19 servicemen who died during Operation Red wings, a military operation during the war in Afghanistan in 2005. On the other hand, 22 miles stand for every 22 U.S. veterans who commit suicide per day.

Meyer also states that veteran’s daily suicides are not reported by media or any entity and for him, it is a tragical statistics that he uses as a motivation to walk further spreading PTS awareness.

PTSD is a mental disorder that can develop in people who have suffered or faced a shocking, dangerous or scary event. These traumatic events weaken the human mental stability and the trauma occurs. With his campaign, Meyer hopes to raise awareness nationwide about the seriousness of this condition in those who have served their country.

‘Meyer’s experience with Post Traumatic Stress

Meyer has stated he tried to commit suicide three times. He affirms his post-traumatic stress disorder started when he found a partner who had killed herself in a car. Meyer affirms that his post-traumatic condition started with vivid nightmares about gunshots, deaths and the smells of bloodshed.

However, the trauma was just beginning with the car’s suicide. After participating in deployments in Bosnia, Croatia and Honduras, his memory was all full of dark scenes that were hard to leave behind.

When Meyer realized he had tried to commit suicide three time he looked for help, but, those traumatic events lasted four years before he “put his gun down and went out for help”. Meyer is aware of what is the internal struggle soldiers go through after living war’s terrifying events. And this is way he is walking to honor casualties and to help those who are in a dead-end street.

Source: Your Houston News