Seven disabled veterans set out on PTSD Century Hike
Joshua Emer, Chad Prichard and five other disabled veterans are heading out on the PTSD Century Hike, a 100-mile walk over four days to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder. They will be walking from the Armed Forces Tribute Garden in Westminster Colo., to the Veterans War Memorial in Colorado Springs.
It’s the brain child of Emer, who explained the group’s “why” on its Facebook page. “We are doing this for ALL veterans. We are stronger TOGETHER.”
Starting on Aug. 20, the group will walk about 25 miles each day on mostly roads. Once the walk begins, their progress can be followed on Garmin’s In Reach tracker.
“We had way more people interested than we could take,” said Prichard, an Army veteran who also noted that they are working to raise donations for the Semper Fi Fund. “We hope to do this again in future years and bring more people in who can help promote PTSD awareness.”
Among those joining Prichard (my crew chief and pacer during my first 100-mile race) on the journey is Army veteran Travis Strong, who lost both his legs in combat in Baghdad. Strong is known for scooting along with his arms, ascending tough climbs and conquering many difficult challenges.
Strong plans to propel himself forward with his hands for the 100 miles but may need his wheelchair in certain sections. He will have access to his custom-built wheelchair, which he powers himself.
“He made it clear that we are not to push him,” says Prichard, who credits trail running for helping him emerge from PTSD, depression and drug addiction. “He told us, ‘I’m the one who moves myself.’”