A local veteran said he will be hiking 22 kilometers Monday to honor the 22 veterans who reportedly commit suicide every day.
John Grimm, a former sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, said Wednesday that he would be departing from Kroger at 8 a.m. on Memorial Day, hiking seven miles on State Route 37 and then hiking seven miles back, in total traveling about 22.5 kilometers.
“It’s important to do because I was almost a statistic,” Grimm said. He said music and his wife showed him that there are other things to do. “I learned I wasn’t alone.”
Grimm said he served in the Marines from 2006 to 2014 in motor-transportation operations and did two tours overseas, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. Grimm, a Canton, Ohio, native, moved to Columbus where he met his wife. The couple then moved to Delaware.
“A lot of veterans think we just have each other and they are partially right,” Grimm said. “‘Thank you for your service’ is great but there’s more to it than that. The only person that’s really going to understand is a fellow veteran.”
Grimm said he’s going to be doing the hike to show veterans they aren’t alone.
“I’ll be hard to miss,” Grimm said. He said he plans to have American flags all over his body and backpack.
“I want people to know that we have vets in the community,” Grimm said.
Grimm said he plans to go alone but welcomes anyone who’d like to join him.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.