Two Iraq Veterans walking from Milwaukee to Los Angeles - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Two Iraq Veterans walking from Milwaukee to Los Angeles

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DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -

Two Iraq war veterans have been walking for 13 days but their trek is far from over. On August 30th, Anthony Anderson and Tom Voss departed from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for a Veterans Trek. The two have decided to travel to Los Angeles, California, in order to raise awareness about veterans issues with each step. Tom Voss originally came up with the idea to trek to Los Angeles.

"I actually called up Anthony, he said. "I asked him if he had a rucksack, he asked me what it was for. I told him I need to take some time to figure some things out in my life, and he told me he was in the same boat."

Tom Voss was active in the United States Army from 2003-2006. During his time with the army he was deployed to Iraq from 2004-2005. He fought many hardships during his deployment.

"My platoon Sergeant and Squad Leader were both killed in action and I had a real difficult time addressing those issues." Voss said.

Anthony Anderson also spent time in Iraq during his years of service to the Wisconsin National Guard. He deployed to Iraq during 2004 and stayed there until the fall of 2005. He was deployed back to Iraq for a second time in 2007 and stayed their until 2008. Similar to Voss, Anderson also had troubles adapting to life at home.

"When I came home things were fine for like the first month or so but once the welcome home parties stopped and I had seen all my friends and family. I had problems sleeping at night, and I didn't really know how to talk to people about what I was thinking or what I was feeling." Anderson said.

Anderson and Voss were both diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Voss says part of the reason why they are on a trek to Los Angeles is to help cope with PTSD and figure some things out their lives.

"We are not bogged down by the daily grind," Voss said. "We are able to sit with our own thoughts and kind of dissect what is really the root cause of the issues that we are going through."

During their trek, Anderson and Voss are also raising money for a non-profit organization called Dryhootch. The organization aims at serving veterans, veterans families, and educating the community on issues facing veterans of all ages. The organization allows veterans to participate in peer-to-peer mentoring in a safe, alcohol and drug free environment. The two hope to raise $100,000 for the non-profit organization during their trek. So far, they have raised more than $60,000. Along with Dryhootch, Anderson and Voss also hope to raise awareness about other veterans issues as well. Those including homelessness and veterans suicide.

"22 veterans a day commit suicide," Voss said. "that averages out to every 65 minutes. We just think that's terrible."

The Veterans Trek will continue this weekend in the state of Iowa. The men will be hosting a meet and greet Friday evening at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville. The treks final stop in Iowa will be in Council Bluffs. If you would like to find out more information about Veterans Trek or you would like to donate click here.

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