BELTON — Wounded warriors are walking 1,000 miles across the country to raise awareness of the physical and mental health issues veterans are facing.
It's the first time for the event in the U.S. Prince Harry launched the Walk of America back in April. The U-S and U-K are partners on the battlefield but organizers said this walk is important because they said the soldiers should heal together too after the fight.
"In 2006, I was wounded in combat. I lost my eye and part of my shoulder. And they fixed me up and made it so I looked presentable when I left. However, it wasn't until four-and-a-half years later that I was diagnosed with my brain injury," veteran Master Sergeant Adele Loar said with the U.S. Air Force.
Loar wears her military buddies whom she lost on her sleeve, a reminder of battle scars. Veteran Corporal Frankie Perez with the U.S. Army National Guard knows something about battle scars.
"Back in the day, 2009, I tried to commit suicide, spent over 30 hours intubated. And I know how hard it is sometimes not to have, where to go or who to trust, your invisible wounds," Perez said.
That is why the Walk of America, a total of 1,000 miles, is so important. The veterans started at Dockweiler Beach in Los Angeles and will be finishing up in New York City. But they stopped through Belton on their journey. They are raising awareness about organizations that help veterans get back on their feet in civilian life.
"If you've served and you've got a problem, you need to go and get help. You need to admit to yourself you've got a problem and with that you can be the best person you can be," British Army veteran Major John Mayhead said.
Private Jonny Burns burns is a beneficiary with Walking with the Wounded. He served with the Royal Anglian infantry regiment in the British Army.
"I found myself going through some mental health problems, gambling addictions, drug addictions, ended up being homeless," Burns said.
During the visit to Belton, he was encouraged to apply for the academy at the Sheriff's Office. He is putting one foot in front of the other to heal.
"It's amazing, especially to be here in Texas," Burns said.
The walkers said Texas is the most patriotic. She said they are getting honks and waves and donations, displays of support, throughout the journey in this state.
"I feel like I'm one of the luckiest females around because I'm going to walk with five great guys to New York, but right now, I'm walking with six great guys. So I'm truly blessed. The team is amazing," said Loar.