Army Iraq Vets Plan 2,700-Mile Trek to Reflect

Milwaukee-L.A. hike also aims to raise awareness of PTSD and other vet issues.

Two Milwaukee Iraq veterans -- Anthony Anderson and Tom Voss -- will set out on a 2,700-mile, five-month hike to Los Angeles on Aug 30 that will also serve as an inward journey.

Anderson, a member of the Wisconsin National Guard who served two tours in Iraq, the last of which ended in 2008, told me and that he and Voss had not had the time to really pause and think about their experiences, as well as how to live the rest of their lives.

“We’re both looking for the time to reflect on what we did – and how to move forward,” Anderson said.

Both Anderson and Voss, who did one Iraq tour with the 25th Infantry Division, have been diagnosed with PTSD, and they plan to use their hike to raise awareness about PTSD and other conditions veterans face -- including substance abuse -- in both vet and nonvet communities.

They also are both veterans of Dryhootch, a Milwaukee-based vet peer support group that runs a coffee shop, not a bar, because “PTSD and substance abuse go togther,” Anderson said. Anderson and Voss hope to raise $100,000 for Dryhootch during their trek.

You can follow their journey on the Web at