Veteran walking 2,200 miles arrives in the Tall City - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Veteran walking 2,200 miles arrives in the Tall City

Rodriguez in a T-6. (Source: KWES) Rodriguez in a T-6. (Source: KWES)

Army vet Ernesto Rodriguez is walking 2200 miles and carrying 60 lbs on his back.

"Little towns are three, four miles off the interstate. A lot of that history is lost," said Rodriguez. "Midland being a bigger area, has a lot of history as well."

Rodriguez began his journey in Clarksville, Tennessee where he is walking all the way to Los Angeles, California. He's doing it all to honor the number of 22 vets who take their lives every day. He stopped by Midland and is spending the weekend to experience the tall city.

"Money comes and goes, but the message stays forever if you make it strong," he said. "The first thing I thought of with Midland was oil, lots of oil."

But what he didn't know, was what was in store for him this weekend. The Commemorative Air Force heard about Ernesto's 2200 mile walk. On Sunday, they're letting him ride in a T-6, an aircraft that was flown during World War 2.

"This is a once in a lifetime type thing, I will be going up in this bad boy, going on a little flight," said Rodriguez. "I didn't realize I was going to be in a position where I was going to be recognized to do all this cool stuff. This is going to be pretty amazing."

The CAF is expressing thanks and giving Ernesto a tour around Midland where he will get to learn more about the tall city's history from George W Bush's childhood home and the Chris Kyle Memorial.

He plans to take off to Odessa on Monday and the next stop will be Pecos and then El Paso. He will be accompanied by another veteran who is joining him on his journey.

"I'm trying to build enough of a voice, enough of a platform to make change."

To catch up with Rodriguez, you can visit his Facebook

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