NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An Army Veteran from Ohio is on a mission to ride his bike across the entire continental United States in an effort to bring attention to other soldiers suffering from PTSD.
A few years ago Eli Smith sold everything he owns and traded in all of his life's possessions for a power assisted hybrid bike that he is traveling 13,000 miles on.
The 38-year-old is using his ride to gain attention through social media and media outlets along the way. He's helping to raise money for soldiers suffering from PTSD and bring awareness to a disorder that claims hundreds of soldiers each year.
"PTSD is an epidemic that is in our veteran community, we lose on average 20 veterans to suicide every single day," he says.
Eli's journey is taking him through Nashville where he's meeting with officials from the local VA Hospital and Democratic Candidate for Governor Karl Dean. He's hoping those conversations will spark some kind of change.
"I’ve received 12 letters from veterans who have come across my journey and have changed their mind about suicide and are still with us, so it’s helping but it’s something that more people need to get involved with," he said.