AUSTIN, Texas — A man is walking 1,400 miles from North Carolina to Austin.
"To help spread that mental health awareness within the communities for veterans, military," Navy veteran Jason Rhodes said.
He is on a journey from Sanford, North Carolina, to Austin. As of Monday, he was in North Carolina and had walked more than 100 miles.
Rhodes runs a business called RenoVet where he does renovations for apartments and other places. He said the majority of the profits goes toward helping veterans.
He does renovations for free and helps veterans any way he can. With this walk, he's hoping to raise even more money and do more to help them. The goal is to raise enough money to build mental health facilities in each state he walks through.
"Have facilities in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina – states that I'm walking through – hopefully within the next 10 years," he said.
At the new facilities, he will teach the veterans woodworking skills.
"Schedule out courses – we teach something one week, something the next week. Then these guys can come if they're disabled and make some woodwork projects and maybe sell some of this stuff for themselves," Rhodes said.
He said this can really give veterans a sense of a pride and morale boost, helping with their mental health. He said he would like to see psychiatrists volunteer and meet with vets at the facilities.
Throughout his journey so far, Rhodes has been thankful for fire stations allowing him to take showers and stay there. He hopes to arrive in Austin sometime in April.
"To give back to some of these guys that sacrificed and ultimate sacrifice, that means the world to me be able to do this for these guys," he said.