Iowa Army veteran runs his message through Ottumwa

Army veteran Joshua Jorgensen runs through Ottumwa (KTVO/Chris Arbino)

Iowa Army veteran Joshua Jorgensen's 10-day run across the state brought him through Ottumwa this afternoon.

Jorgensen is running to raise awareness for veteran suicide and PTSD issues.

Jorgensen served in the 101st Airborne from 2000 to 2004 and deployed for the initial push through Iraq in 2003.

He began running on the 13th of September in Council Bluffs and runs approximately 30 miles per day.

The march ends on the 22nd in Burlington. Jorgensen said the entire journey is somewhere between 330 and 340 miles.

To make the run even more challenging, Jorgensen has worn a gas mask every step of the way. He says the mask also adds a “military twist” to his endeavor.

Aside from all the press he has attracted running across the state and other veterans sharing their stories with him, Jorgensen said he has been overwhelmed at times by the reception he has received from cities he’s stopped in.

It’s just overwhelming to see those things especially for the first time and especially after you’ve ran 30 miles that day to get there to see them, and you know that’s your finish line.

Jorgensen’s message to fellow veterans is simple: talk to those around you.

In the veteran community we tend to shy away from talking to family members or talking to friends from back home about things like this because we’re afraid they won’t understand. That might be true, but, they’re still there for you and still willing to help.

If you’d like to help Jorgensen’s cause in anyway, you can find more information on the Team Fidelis website.

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