SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – An Upstate Marine veteran is hiking across South Carolina to raise awareness and money for servicemen with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Patrick Elswick – who served in the Iraq War – has reached about 150 miles of his 500 mile hike along the Palmetto Trail after starting in Walhalla on September 22, 2017.
He says it’s all to support the “When Life Sucks Foundation” that helps veterans.
“We’ve made it such a bad thing to have a Americans that people don’t realize it which actually pushes that suicide rate up,” said Elswick. “So we actually have to embrace the cause and that’s what this awareness is about. This is about the guy who never got to tell his story.”
The national organization, headquartered in South Carolina, provided services for 600 veterans in 2016 – 37 of whom were suicidal.
Spartanburg Mayor Junie White honored their and Elwick’s effort during an event at RJ Rockers.
“When we heard Patrick was coming and he wanted to do it here, it’s just a no brainer to have him,” said RJ Rockers Owner Mark Johnsen, who is also a veteran. “We don’t do nearly enough for our veterans, especially the ones suffering from PTSD. If this can increase awareness, if nothing else, that our veterans need help that’s the main thing.”
Elswick says his goal is to raise $100,000 for the foundation.