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WATCH: Masked Veteran Passes Through Ottumwa to Raise Awareness for PTSD

By Nick Davis, September 20, 2017

Those driving between Ottumwa and Albia, this morning, may have spotted what looked like a Batman villain running alongside the roadway.

Rest assured, the masked man is not Bane, and he’s not here to kill Bruce Wayne.

In fact, Army Veteran Josh Jorgensen is running across the state of Iowa to raise awareness for PTSD and veteran suicides. “As a veteran myself, I suffer from PTSD,” Jorgensen told Ottumwa Radio News. “Every veteran I know, to some degree, suffers from it. I take it as my responsibility, as a leader, to come out here and show them that there’s people out here who care about them. As long as you keep pushing forward and moving in the right directions, you can get to the finish line.”

Two runners joined Jorgensen as he left Albia, one from Northwest Iowa and an employee of John Deere Ottumwa Works. Jorgensen says he’s seen a show of support such as this through his entire journey.

“It’s been real common. I had to think this morning, it was only really the second day that I don’t think I had anyone run with me. Every other day I’ve been out here, this is day 8 now, every other day there has been someone running with me for at least a little while. It’s been real encouraging because that’s the message I’m trying to push out there is that there are people out there willing to help.” Says Jorgensen.

He says he hasn’t had to pay for anything along the way. “When I started this I was ready to do it all self-supported and I was gonna go on my own and take care of myself the entire time. I haven’t had to do that. I’ve had people offer up their houses, [people offer food and drinks.] Offer to come out and run with me or just offer a high five or a handshake along the way. It’s been incredible.”

Jorgenson had planned to stop for the night in Ottumwa, but says he may press on and rest in Agency. The Agency Volunteer Fire Department has offered him a place to stay while he’s passing through.

Running 30 miles per day, Jorgenson says he hopes to finish in Burlington on Friday having run close to 340 miles.

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