HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — A U.S. Army veteran and his six-month-old pup made a pit stop in Huntsville on Tuesday during his four-month cross-country electric bike ride.
David Childress, who served in the 82nd Airborne, is cycling across the states in an effort to raise awareness about veteran suicide and how the Wolfdogs help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Childress started May 12 in Fort Myers, Fla., and is clocking around 20 miles a day. The nonprofit Still Serving Veterans of Huntsville sponsored a hotel room and a hot meal for Childress while in town.
“We were the first step on the journey and he was happy to grab a bed and hang out with other veterans today,” said Janet Page, director of marketing for Still Serving Veterans.
Childress joined the military in 2001. He was medically discharged from the military in 2005, leaving him in a dark place, but with the help of “Mattersville” he found hope.
“It’s a pack mentality,” Childress said. “It’s like your military family. You are able to be a cog in the system, able to do your part.
The Colorado-based nonprofit helps veterans battle homelessness, PTSD and suicide through its Heroes and Hybrids program.
“Going through everything I’ve been through in life and all the punishment I’ve given myself, I realized I had to get rid of this blame and shame a long time ago,” Childress told News 19. “I’m glad I didn’t because it made me stronger over the years.
His last stop will be in Oregon. Childress says he hopes to get there by September 11 in honor of those who lost that tragic day.
You can follow him here and show your support for opening the sanctuary to the public here.