A Denver area resident is currently on a coast-to-coast journey in an effort to raise awareness of the problems veterans face upon returning home. Matt Kerner, 23, left San Francisco, California on June 4th. He intends to walk across the nation and eventually reach Washington D.C. in January of next year, a trip that will have him hike about 4,400 miles.
Matt was inspired to take the walk by his brother, Justin Kerner, a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps who joined the service just after high school. His brother served multiple tours of duty in Iraq, as well as a year in Bahrain.
Matt says that his brother had difficulty coming back home after experiencing so much stress in combat in his two tours. Some of Justin’s fellow Marine Corps veterans took their own lives after returning home, and Justin himself has struggled with post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
After Matt learned of the difficulties his brother and other veterans faced after returning home, he decided to walk across the country in order to raise money and awareness. He is working with Active Heroes, a charitable organization that raises money to support veterans and their families.
On July 4th Matt spendt the holiday with Justin at TwentyNine Palms, California, and is regularly updating his progress through the Facebook page “10 Million People Who Support Our Troops.” You can follow his progress here: http://www.facebook.com/10millionpeoplewhosupportourtroops