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Walking warrior: One vet’s mission across Indiana

HUNTINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A veteran is waling across Indiana, his goal is to inspire wounded veterans to seek help.

Jack McIlwain walked through Huntington County on State Road 124 on Wednesday as part of a journey across Indiana. The purpose is to raise awareness of veteran suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In June, McIlwain started in southern Indiana and walked north on U.S. 31 to the Michigan state line with a friend. He recently began the journey from west to east by himself on the Illinois state line. But on Wednesday, the Marion native had three friends traveling with him.

McIlwain is a veteran himself. He said he served in Iraq in 2008 and struggles with PTSD. That’s a major reason why he’s walking hundreds of miles to raise awareness of what can be a quite battle for many who have served the country.

“There’s 23 brothers and sisters killing themselves a day, veterans, and it’s there’s got to be a – we’ve got to start something. We’ve got to do something,” McIlwain said as he walked down a rural section of State Road 124. “If this helps out in any way or encourages anybody or actually inspires them to reach out or get help or help others…I can’t be more happy.”

McIlwain’s two journeys make a cross over the state of Indiana, a symbol of his Christian faith that’s been the source of healing following his deployment.

McIlwain is pointing veterans who are coping with the aftermath of war to, an organization that seeks to create a community of veterans that serves as a safety net for those who have served.

Click here to follow McIlwain’s journey across Indiana.