New Mexico

Vets on cross country journey to raise awareness about PTSD stop in Las Cruces

Vets on cross country journy to raise...

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - Two army veterans on a cross country journey made a stop in Las Cruces Wednesday.

Eli Smith and Ernesto Rodriguez are hiking to raise awareness for post traumatic stress disorder. They hiked into the Land of Enchantment Tuesday night and will leave for Deming Thursday morning.

Smith is planning to hike through all four corners of the United States. He started walking on foot on November 22, in Florida. He says his journey will take about three and a half years.

"We're out here spreading the message getting the word out and talking to different organizations and veterans and doing as much as we can," Smith said.

Rodriguez started his journey in Tennessee and is heading to Los Angeles.

"I'm walking 2,200 miles to commemorate the 22 people on average that commit suicide a day," Rodriguez said. "I try to make people realize its an injury sustained usually while people are in service and its pinned to PTSD so it's not a disease, it's an injury they sustain probably while in combat or during their time in service," Rodriguez said.

The pair met through social media. When they realized they were both hiking for the same reason, they teamed up and decided to do part of their journey together.

If you'd like more information or would like to help, you can go to Rodriguez's Facebook Page here:

Smith's Facebook Page is

He also has a website at

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