Two local legislators and a local veterans group lend a helping hand to a retired U.S. Army sergeant, who made his way through west Georgia over the weekend. He continued his mostly-walking tour raising awareness of veterans issues.
Jimmy Novak spent 21 years in the U.S Army. During his career he was deployed three times, twice on combat tours in Iraq. He admitted he thought about suicide, but fortunately overcame those issues. Now retired, Novak wants to help with veteran post traumatic syndrome suicide awareness. His awareness tour had him enter the city of Carrollton on foot at approximately 1:00 pm Saturday:
What I am doing is Im walking across America and raising awareness for veterans who suffer from PTSD and the 22 veterans who die by suicide on a daily basis. Im trying to make people aware of the problem and inspire people to seek help early.
Novak began his tour in Washington on March 22, the large majority of the time pushing a stroller-type cart hauling 80 pounds of necessary belongings, including water, sun-block and a tent.
Novak said the communities hes passed including Carrolltonhave been receptive to his message.
2,159 miles right now, by foot since the 22 of March. On top of that I have about 750 miles or so by car. Everywhere I have gone has been very supportive. They have been instantly engaged in the topic and they all have wanted to help me get down the road and help me be successful, said Novak. On the road, people are really good about slowing down and getting over and giving me space. People drive by and honk and I like to think that they are showing support, not telling me to get off the road.
State Senators Mike Dugan and Matt Brass have set Novak up with lodging and meals in Carrollton and Newnan. The American Legion Post 143 kept tabs on Novak from Anniston, Alabama to Newnan. They also purchased him a new travel cart as his had taken a beating after days on the road and a new protective case for his cell phone.