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Bettendorf veteran raises suicide awareness by running cross state carrying an American flag

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BETTENDORF-- A veteran from Bettendorf is home after his 16 day long journey spreading awareness about suicide in veterans across the state. He ran hundreds of miles all while carrying an American flag.

On Saturday a motorcade greeted Brian Geerts in the last stretch of his journey ending at Bettendorf's Veterans Memorial Park with a crowd of people cheering for him. He started his journey in Omaha and ran a total of 359 miles in 16 days.

Geerts says about 22 veterans take their own life every day in the United States.

When people stopped him along the way he handed out fliers and told them about PTSD and suicide. He says it was those encounters and stories swapped that made every mile worth it.

"He got out gave me a hug and started crying and said thank you brother, and that honestly is the most moving part of this and if it touches one person which it did touch him, that means the world to me. This isn't the end, it's only the beginning of me trying to raise awareness and funds. It was more amazing than I thought it would be," says Geerts.

Ending his journey at Bettendorf's Veterans Memorial Park has deep meaning for Geerts. His name, along with his father's, step father's, and brother's are all engraved on the memorial there.

Channel 8 originally did a story with Geerts back in December when he was training for his cross state run.

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