WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) – A Marine Veteran has made it his mission to spread awareness about a cause that’s close to his heart and that mission took him all the way to the White House.
Marine Veteran Terry Sharpe doesn’t just talk the talk.
“I’ve been called the Walking Marine,” Sharpe said.
He quite literally walks the walk.
“I’ve walked to Washington D.C., this is the eighth time,” Sharpe said.
Sharpe makes the trek from his home in Summerfield, North Carolina — 328 miles on foot — to the Nation’s Capitol to raise awareness about veteran suicides.
According to the VA, 22 vets take their own lives every day.
“This takes a toll on a person. You might not see it, but it does. So this helps me get the word out to people who don’t know that it’s happening,” Sharpe said.
As Sharpe mentioned, this is the 8th time he’s walked to Washington. But this year, the journey ended in a special way, with a lot more fanfare.
The White House — greeted by the president.
“He complimented me on the walk, and bringing awareness. He understands that we need to take care of our veterans. And that’s what he’s doing,” Sharpe said.
Sharpe says while more must be done for veterans, he’s happy with the Trump Administration’s efforts.
It’s an issue both parties take seriously.
“We have a duty to them that we’re providing the best healthcare, and doing all that’s possible to reduce the stigma and seeking mental health,” Representative Anthony Brindisi, D-New York, said.
Democratic Congressman Anthony Brindisi says now more than ever, lawmakers must play a role in reducing veteran suicide rates.
“They fought for us, and now we have a duty to fight for them,” Brindisi said.
And in his own way, Sharpe says even fighting the elements is worth it to make big strides for a cause close to his heart.
“It was uh, pretty hot. 105 in places, 104,” Sharpe said.