Army veteran walks across America for fellow veterans - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Army veteran walks across America for fellow veterans

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Eli Smith is a man on a 13,000-mile mission to walk the four corners of the country in an effort to raise awareness about veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Smith began his cross country journey in Florida last November, and has already trekked thousands of miles to reach San Diego. Smith begins each day at 4 a.m., and averages about 20 walking-miles each day.

"I am technically homeless. I had an apartment, got rid of it, and sold everything I had to get this started," said Eli Smith.

After seeing we lose on average twenty veterans a day, Smith, an Army veteran turned restaurant manger, decided it was time to make a change of pace.

"I lost a few friends that I had served with to PTSD and suicide. It really affected me pretty bad," he said.

On Monday, Smith visited the Alpine's Wall of Honor.

"It's just about doing something good for people who have sacrificed so much for us," he said.

He said he has met other veterans along his journey, and total strangers have hosted him at their homes.

Smith said he would love for a restaurant to host a special dinner for 20 veterans while he is traveling through San Diego. He plans to donate food to the Veterans Village.

Smith plans to walk Balboa Park on Thursday with the goal of reaching Friendship Park at the border on Saturday.

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