US Army Vet Raising Awareness of Veteran Suicide
US Army Veteran Jeremy Miller passed through Sedalia Friday afternoon during his "Walk Across America."
Miller, originally from Boise, Idaho, began his journey in Crescent City, California May 22 and stopped by the Sedalia Fire Department on West 16th Friday on his way to Arlington National Cemetery to raise awareness of the problem of veteran suicide.
"I'm about 2500 miles in and I've been taking Highway 50 from Kansas City. I was welcomed by Whiteman Air Force Base and now by the City of Sedalia," Miller said while at the Sedalia Fire Department lobby. Miller expects to arrive at Arlington by the end of November.
Although he admits it's a long shot, Miller would like to speak to high-ranking officials, possibly President Trump, once he arrives in Washington, DC.
Veteran suicide awareness is very real for Miller. He tried to take his own life five months ago, "I decided I needed to be here, I have a four-year-old son. This is something I need to do to raise as much awareness as possible. And also save my own life. This is my therapy, nature and the outdoors," Miller said.
Miller, 30, served in the US Army Reserves from 2007 to 2015, with one tour of duty in Iraq in 2011.
"We didn't lose anyone overseas, but when we got home, within three years, we lost four guys to suicide," Miller recalled. That's another reason I'm doing this walk."
Miller was a combat engineer doing route clearance. "Basically, I drove 5 - 15 miles per hour, and look for bombs on the side of the road, and clear the way for all the supply trucks on the route," Miller said.
Miller admitted that particular job can be very stressful, with the adrenaline continually flowing while on duty, "knowing that something may find you before you find it."
"I tell people to find your happiness. Mine is nature and outdoors, walking across the United States, this is my happiness. So whatever it may be, big or small, keep your happiness. Secondly, is vulnerability. Don't be afraid to talk about what you've been through, whether it be to a wall, cat, dog, professional, family friend, it doesn't matter. Just try to get it off your chest," Miller stated.
Miller averages 20-25 miles a day in his travels. But with the days getting shorter now, that figure may decrease. But still, Miller says he is trying to "kick it up a notch."
Response to his Walk Across America has been "phenomenal" especially since he traveled through Kansas. Miller said he can feel the momentum building. "It's been amazing," he said.
If you'd like to follow Miller's journey, his facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/walkacrossamerica22/.