SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Eli Smith, 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, made a special stop in Oceanside Thursday night.
After seeing CBS News 8's report on Smith last week, the Oceanside Yacht Club wanted to give him a proper send-off celebration on his last night in San Diego.
"If we can shake his hand and give him a meal, send him on his way, that is what we wanted to do and help him out," said Craig Tannahill with the Oceanside Yacht Club.
Smith's host, Laura Daniel, is a Navy mom who is aware of veteran suicide. "I think it is important to bring light to it," said Daniel.
Smith began his cross country journey in Florida last November, and has already trekked thousands of miles to reach San Diego.
After learning we lose on average twenty veterans a day, Smith, an Army veteran turned restaurant manger, decided it was time to change the pace.
"I lost a few friends to PTSD and suicide," said Smith.
A veteran with a good heart, Smith has met many San Diegans and other Americans throughout his journey to help veterans.
"I am just a dude walking around. I'm sad to leave, but I have to keep going," he said.
Smith said suicidal veterans have reached out to him while on his journey, and many are now receiving help.
The public can follow Smith's journey on his Facebook page, 4 Corners Hike.
Veterans, Service members, and their loved ones can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, send a text message to 838255, or chat online to receive free, confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even if they are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care.