INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An IMPD detective is planning a cross-country trip. He’s not flying, or even driving. He’s making the more than 3,000 mile journey on foot.
David Roth is walking to raise money for veterans and their families. He hopes to raise $3.3 million. The money will fund a retreat house.
Roth, who serves on the board for Helping Hands for Freedom, an organization that helps the families of veterans, was inspired by his stepson and his neighbor who was a Vietnam veteran.
“Matt Coleman is a medic in the U.S. Navy. He is on multiple deployments,” said Roth. “I had a neighbor, Darrell Holder, Purple Heart recipient, who was a neighbor who recently passed away, who I felt if there was an organization like ours, to bring in and come into the family and assist, just a little here and there, not financially. I felt the quality of life would’ve been better.”
Roth is working to land corporate sponsors as well as donations from the public. The location will be decided in a group conversation between Roth and those who donate. The retreat home will likely be built somewhere in Indiana.
“We are really going to have a centrally located place where if the family’s benefits haven’t kicked in, they can come. If they need financial help, they can come. If they need psychological counseling, they can come. But if they need to just get away,” said Roth.
The walk will kick off in April of 2016. It’ll begin in Atlantic City, New Jersey go through Indianapolis and end in San Francisco. It’s expected to take somewhere between 4-5 months to complete.
“I’m a regular guy that’s going to do this. I’m not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination anymore,” said Roth.
He’s enlisted the help of chiropractor Dr. Joseph Kielur and former heavyweight boxing champion and Indianapolis resident, Lamon Brewster. The two are getting Roth into shape and tweaking his diet in order to make the cross country trip.
“He’s going to need mental focus in order to accomplish his goal, and then the boxing part is the physical part which is him throwing punches. Him telling his body what to do when his body don’t want to act. So it’s building up strength in his mind like a muscle,” said Brewster.
Roth will use all of his vacation time with IMPD, and take an unpaid leave.
“If I can highlight the issues of PTSD, family stress, basically a disassociation from the experiences they experience in the military, if I can do that, giving up my vacation is an easy task,” said Roth.
Fundraising has already started. If you would like to help out, click here.