Hike service

Veterans walk from Lincoln to Waverly to raise awareness of post-service care

WOODLAWN, Neb. (KLKN) — As part of a larger trip from Wyoming to Nebraska, Jason Hanner walked from Lincoln to Waverly to raise awareness of health issues facing service members after returning home.

Starting at Casey’s General Store in Woodlawn, just northwest of Lincoln, Hanner and her cousin Amanda McArthur traveled to Waverley.

The 16-mile walk along Interstate 80 saw the two travel in sub-zero temperatures.

“This is the first walk I’ve led myself,” Hanner said. “I organized every step myself.”

The couple are walking as part of an initiative via WalkforVets.org, started by John Ring.

The organization aims to help raise awareness for veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, addiction and homelessness.

Hanner said Ring started the organization after helping a veteran.

“[Ring] ended up meeting a young female veteran who had been sexually assaulted,” he said.

Ring started a trend that has seen individuals reaching out to veterans to provide immediate relief to those in pain.

“Reach out,” Hanner said. “Just show you care.”

Hanner said military service is like signing a blank check; you don’t know what the cost will be. After returning home, many veterans encounter problems with little or no support.

“They go to this dark place, but by raising awareness, we as a society can help care for these veterans in this dark place,” Hanner said.

The two will continue their march to Omaha before completing the journey by crossing the Missouri River past the Nebraska border.