Joshua Geartz is preparing for the trip of a lifetime. On May 27th, he will start from Angola, Indiana, travel 422 miles and arrive in Buffalo about three weeks later. He’ll do all of that on his electric wheelchair.
The trip is called 422 for 22.
“To bring awareness to the 20 plus veterans that are taking their lives every day,” said Geartz.
A case of Spinal Stenosis almost always keep Geartz in his wheelchair, but mental health problems nearly took his life.
“I previously attempted suicide and I was getting at a place where I was ready to do it again,” said Geartz. “You just get to a point where you honestly believe everyone around you are better off without you.”
Geartz overcame his suicidal thoughts. A program called Songwriting with Soldiers helped him.
“It kind of game me some hope. And I just want to other veterans to have the same opportunities that I've had,” said Geartz.
So, he's taking his wheelchair and his message on the road. He’s hoping to speak with people along the way, about the serious mental health issues veterans face.
“You're not going to get help unless you start opening up and ask for it. No one is going to know that you're hurting, unless you tell them,” said Geartz.
A veteran on a mission. He's been to the brink and wants no one else to feel alone.
“If it helps just one person. I think I did my job.”