Terry Sharpe, a US Marine Corps veteran, is renowned as “The Walking Veteran” for his advocacy of walking for miles to make people aware of veterans who commit suicide after returning home from the war.
Every day, nearly 22 veterans commit suicide. “This number has not changed and it is believed by some that due to under-reporting it can be as high as 27 per day,” according to Sharpe’s website, walkingmarine.com.
Every year, almost one million individuals die by suicide in the United States alone. That’s 10.7 persons out of 100,000. In 2015, military veterans accounted for 18% of all suicide deaths in the United States. This is a significant number, especially considering that military veterans make up only 8.5 % of the population.
When the CCP Virus struck the world, these figures were projected to climb. People, particularly retired soldiers, felt separated from the rest of the world during lockdowns. True, by the end of 2020, the number of military deaths had risen to 25%. This is a concerning figure.
Sharpe made an effort to commemorate his fellow veterans’ lives and promote public awareness about this. He walked 300 miles from Summerfield, North Carolina, to Washington, DC, to honor and remember those who have died in and out of service and to raise awareness and fight for those who have post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Vietnam veteran did more than walk for awareness; he also remained still for 22 hours at the crossroads of Battleground and New Garden Road in Greensboro, North Carolina. He wasn’t simply relaxing his feet.
According to Sharpe, the number “22” isn’t just any number; it symbolizes the 22 lives lost in a single day. More importantly, the 22 families they will leave behind and who will be in mourning and the 22 further lives that will be lost if people continue to turn a blind eye to what is going on.
Sharpe’s actions were insignificant compared to the misery endured by his fellow veterans, as he said. “My muscles will cramp, my legs will cramp and I’ll be miserable. But nothing compared to what some of these veterans are going through. My misery will be over in 22 hours. Their misery is 24/7,” Sharpe noted.
He didn’t have to walk alone, though. He walked a long way while carrying the American flag and with some supporters behind him. This was also symbolic in some ways. This, according to Sharpe, demonstrated to veterans that they were not alone, that there were people who care about them and were willing to go to great lengths to prove that they can all succeed together.
Sharpe intends to continue doing this for the rest of his life. He told Spectrum Local News that he planned to do even more to help his fellow veterans and promote consciousness about the mental health problems that plague them throughout their lives.
Working with the New Line Foundation, a non-profit that assists former soldiers, law enforcement, and other public servants is the Walking Marine’s next mission.