Wash. veteran walks over 3,000 miles to raise awareness of veteran suicide

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SEATTLE — Jimmy Novak is an Iraq War veteran who spent 21 years in the army. Newly retired at age 43, he decided to go on a journey that took him across the United States.

In 152 days, averaging 22 miles a day, he walked from his home in Washington to Disney World in Florida to raise awareness of veteran suicide and PTSD. He walked 22 miles each day specifically because that is the average number of veteran suicides every day.

Jimmy joined KING's New Day Northwest to discuss his journey, who he met along the way and how we can help uplift veterans who may be struggling.

On his website, Jimmy talks about why this issue is so important to him personally. "I want to help draw attention to the value of life. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary set of problems, and it doesn’t end the pain. Suicide passes the pain on to the people who love us. So, I am here to tell my fellow veterans that you are never alone! Seeking help and reaching out is difficult and it requires courage, but it is a sign of strength and a sign of resiliency. If you need help, I am here for you. Please reach out, and let someone help you. You are important! You are valuable! You are irreplaceable!"

If you are a veteran in need of assistance, you can call 800-273-8255, and Press 1 to talk to someone, or send a text message to 838255 to connect with a VA responder.

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