A Richmond Hill man plans to walk across the country to raise money for a local veterans' non-profit organization.
John Ring, 40, said he will depart at 8 a.m., Oct. 1 from Tybee Island pier and walk across the U.S. for approximately 80 days, ending 2,460 miles later at the Santa Monica pier in California.
Ring, who currently serves in the Georgia Army National Guard as infantryman with Delta Company 2-121 (his expiration of term of service is on Oct. 7) said he will "embark on an amazing journey to help raise money for my fellow veterans suffering from addictions, PTSD, and homelessness."
He added, "During this time, I will use social media (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram) to gain supporters and grow awareness across the country. The walk is called, “Buddy Watch Walk – Pier to Pier”.
Buddy Watch, Inc., is a non-profit organization in Midway, founded by Jo Coleman. Ring said Coleman has been working hard to grow awareness and gain support to help veterans in our area. Buddy Watch has purchased property and has begun to break ground for a health clinic. The group helps veterans suffering from mental health issues, PTSD plus MST.
Ring said he has traveled throughout Georgia and has spoken to veterans about the issues and challenges they face from day to day. "As a veteran myself, I understand that each one of my brothers and sisters are different, and so are their needs. My fellow veterans, our heroes, in many cases gave much more of themselves than they or you will ever realize. I have suffered from my own addiction issues, so I understand the challenges they face and the strength it takes to overcome addiction. Our veterans suffer. Their families also suffer."
Ring graduated OSUT in 2013 at Ft. Benning, Georgia. He serves as the chairman for the DPG Veterans and Military Families Caucus for the state of Georgia.