NORWICH - Two men spent the day running across the state of Connecticut. They’re doing it to raise awareness for veteran suicide, it’s an 11 day, 500 mile jouney.
“I kind of just stumbled upon that 22 number, that 22 veterans a day take their own lives and it shocked me,” said Josh Milich.
So Josh, whose in the coast guard himself, decided he wanted to do something about it.
“What if we do some kind of crazy journey run and we do it for charity,” said Milich
That’s when Josh stumbled upon mission 22, A nationwide organization that provides services for veterans and their families to help end veteran suicide. So now Josh had a charity to run for and he didn’t have to look far to find a running partner to join him.
“I’m thinking that’s a crazy idea but I want in,” said Brian Tjerserslend.
In fact it was Brian‘s idea to take this run to the next level.
“Brian said we should run to DC we’ll go to the national cemetery and said why don’t we start at the other national cemetery in Massachusetts and that’s kind of how the whole thing was born,” said Milich.
So with a plan to run 500 miles they set out on Veterans Day. Running through Massachusetts on the first day from Rhode Island into Connecticut on the second and starting their third day with us in Norwich.
Mission 22 is driving right alongside them, providing food and water when they need it. But no cold and even the snow yesterday could stop them, Brian even running in shorts!
“We figured we’re running 11 days we’re going to get bad weather it’s New England it’s inevitable,” said Milich.
They are hoping other runners join in, a friend of theirs ran the first part of their run today with them. They invited me to join them, so I accepted the challenge at least for a couple miles of it.
Connecticut has certainly shown support for their journey. The American Legion heard about their mission and jumped at the idea to get involved.
“This is one of the pillars of the American Legion to spread the word to spread the word of veterans rehabilitation but we can do to help out the veterans and their families,” said Jim Lacoursiere of American Legion, State of Connecticut.
The runners will finish Tuesday night in Wallingford, Thursday they’ll head to Norwalk. They’ll arrive at Arlington national cemetery on November 22nd.