Buddy Watch Walk marched through Selma

Published 7:51 am Thursday, October 22, 2020

The Buddy Watch Walk began its Selma to Montgomery walk Wednesday morning.

The group, followed by its bus, marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge en-route to the state capital. Their goal is to spread awareness of issues that plague military veterans: PTSD, MST, TBI, addiction and homelessness. They bring together veterans of all ethnicities, with different backgrounds and struggles.

Jimmy Mathews, Paco Balthazar, Jason Hanner, Willie B. Thomas Jr. and John Ring were the military veterans who walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

“We are walking across the country to inform people on issues that affect veterans,” Ring said. “It’s anything that ranges from PTSD to suicide.”

Rod Stone, Adjacent at the VFW Post Selma 3016, participated in the walk. The 10-year disabled Vietnam veteran in the U.S. Navy said

“On average, there is 22 veteran suicides a day and that’s 22 too many,” Stone said. “We need to make America aware of this.”

Ring, who served in the Georgia Army National Guard, founded the Buddy watch walk on Oct. 1, 2019.