The 500-Mile Journey, Day 1: Running a Mile in Their Shoes [VIDEO]
Five hundred miles, two men, one mission: to end the war against veteran suicide.
Earlier this morning, two men, Josh Milich and Brian Tjersland, took off from the Bourne National Cemetery to begin their long journey to Arlington, Virginia.
Just around 2 p.m., the Mission 22 veterans were spotted taking a quick breather at Apponequet High School after just completing their first 31 miles, making landfall on the SouthCoast.
The moment I found their whereabouts thanks to a GPS tracker they are equipped with, checking in every so often to let people know where they are on their journey, I noticed they were in the neighborhood, so I hit the road to find them.
After parking off to the side of the road, I spotted Milich and Tjersland making their way towards me with the help of New Bedford Police Officers Jared Lucas and Donnie Williams.
"Mind if I run with you guys for a bit?" I asked them.
"Absolutely not!" they insisted.
For the next mile, I ran beside two people who, to me, are the definition of American heroes. Despite being unprepared, sporting blue jeans and work boots, there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity to run beside to guys who were making a difference in this country. It was a mile I would never forget.
Originally, I took out the camera and asked the guys a few questions while we were running. After a few minutes into the interview, it came apparent to me that as important as it was to gather footage of the runners, I honestly just wanted to take it all in.
I put the camera away and continued on with the run, enjoying the time spent with two veterans on Veterans Day. That's what America is all about.
As I reached my mile marker destination, I thanked Milich and Tjersland and wished them nothing but the best as I departed from their journey.
One mile out of 500 is something I will hold onto as I proceed to forever support Mission 22, the New Bedford Mission 22 chapter and continue to fight to end the war on veteran suicide.
Throughout the week I will be checking in with the runners and their team to bring you a day-to-day update on their journey. Although we may not be able to be there physically, we can always be their in spirit by supporting Milich and Tjersland as they make their way down to Arlington.
Click below to help donate towards their goal of $100,000: