PLAINFIELD, Ind. — Seated in a booth just inside the door of Oasis Diner, Steve Meyers decided between the two plates he ordered from the menu.
On his left sat the Kansas City, biscuits and gravy smothered in cheese. On his right sat a fried tenderloin covered in sausage gravy, the Indianapolis.
More than breakfast items, the dishes represented a 19-day journey for Meyers. On February 15th he set out from Kansas City, Missouri bound for the coast. He will walk each mile.
He arrived in Plainfield Tuesday evening, but prepared to leave bright and early.
The next day, sitting in the diner along highway 40 he fueled up to begin the journey to the circle city.
“My feet hurt,” Meyers said. “I’m doing pretty good. I’m getting a lot more attention than I thought I would.”
The attention comes not only from the feat, but the purpose with which he takes each step.
Meyers is a 22-year army veteran. He served on 7 tours including in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He plans to walk more than 6000 miles, through 20 states to bring attention to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
“The number one thing I want them to know is that there’s help out there, and to have hope and don’t give up.”
He hopes to show people there are physical symptoms to the disorder as well as mental. He also hopes they take away that having PTSD doesn’t mean you are weak.
Mostly, he wants to get more people talking about it by sharing their thoughts and stories. He shares his own.
Steve Meyers suffers from PTSD.
“I didn’t really have a road map on how to get help, or if someone did know how to give me help me, I still had other challenges.”
He first experienced the effects back in 2007, but he didn’t receive help for nearly 8 years.
“All those challenges I ran into, I want to tell other people so they can understand they’re going to run into those things, or they can bypass them.”
He said there are many reasons people may not get help. It could be personal stigma, a family member’s stigma, or fear of consequences if people find out.
He hopes they learn through his walk that help is available and hope is plentiful.
Meyers will arrive at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway late Wednesday morning. He plans to kiss the bricks before heading to Victory Field and on to Monument circle.
While he admits he’s not a counselor, but Meyers describes himself as a great listener. He hopes veterans, first responders, medical professionals, or people that hope to know more about PTSD will come by to walk and talk with him.