CLERMONT, Fla. – This week's Getting Results Award winner is spreading awareness about PTSD one step at a time.
Army veteran, Keith Totten, can be seen marching the back roads and highways of Central Florida at least once a week. Each time he sets out, it's a 22-mile, six-hour journey. One mile for every veteran that commits suicide each day. That statistic comes from the 2012 Veterans Affairs Suicide Data Report. It's a number posted on his backpack in bold red font, designed to catch the eyes of drivers passing by.
"Hopefully I catch the attention of someone who is suffering out there," he says as he walks along Highway 27, up and down hills through the heart of Lake County.
Totten has 150 pounds on his back an American flag on his shoulder and no sign of stopping until he reaches his goal.
"I can't quit, it's not in me to quit," he says. "If I can help one veteran, one person who's suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, that's one person we don't have to worry about."
Totten's non-profit, One Team, One Fight 4 PTSD, serves as a support group for veterans dealing with the disorder. They hold four events a year and operate a Facebook account that serves as the groups community billboard.
Totten says his own struggles with PTSD led him to reach out to others.
"I started educating myself about post traumatic stress and I saw the numbers that veterans were taking their life," he says. "I said you know something has to be done."
Totten says he hopes to one day operate a weekend retreat for veterans with PTSD.
Totten has a message for anyone with the disorder. "To the veterans that are out there suffering from post-traumatic stress, you're not alone, we're out here we care about you and we love you."