Veteran walking across the country accompanied by another vet

Veteran walking across the country accompanied by another vet

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - Ernesto Rodriguez and Eli Smith usually spend their days walking hundreds of miles. But today, these two Army vets spent their morning high up in the sky.

The two met in the tall city where the Commemorative Air Force gave them free rides in a T-6, an aircraft that was flown during World War II.

"It was unbelievable, I still feel like it was a dream. I never thought in a million years, I'd be going up in one of these planes," said Smith.

Smith found Rodriguez through social media after learning about his 2,200 mile long walk across the country. This is all to honor the 22 veterans who take their lives everyday.

"I lost a couple friends I served with, it's always bothered me to do something," said Smith. "I just felt that calling to make a difference."

Just like Eli's hike, the two are walking to spread awareness of veteran suicide and PTSD.

"It gets rough out there especially when your batteries start dying," said Rodriguez. "No more music, you have your thoughts. It'll be nice to bounce things off him and do what we got to do to stay safe out there."

Both vets began their hike in November last year, Ernesto's destination is Los Angeles, California. Eli's hike hits all four corners of the country where it will end in Key West, Florida. Although it's thousands of miles of walking, it's their message that speaks loudly.

"Always take care of your veterans. Always make sure you physically take action, not just donate money, not just make yourself feel better. Look to do something good for them," said Rodriguez.

To catch up with Rodriguez, you can visit his Facebook. Visit Eli's Facebook here.

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