Mike Ehredt—a U.S. Army veteran and presumed better person than any of us—just finished a pretty amazing journey. As a memorial for American service members who fell in Afghanistan, Ehredt spent 10 weeks running from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. That's 2,140 miles, one for each person who has been killed in the conflict.
This is the second time Ehredt has completed a journey of this nature. Two years ago, he ran 4,424 miles (one for each service member lost in Iraq) at the pace of one marathon a day. On both trips, he would stop at each mile to plant a flag with a fallen soldier's name, salute the flag, then continue on his way. From the Post Game:
"It's to honor and say thank you to those that died in Iraq and Afghanistan," Ehredt told ABC News. "I stop each mile, put a flag down that bears the name, rank, and hometown, in the numerical order of their deaths, and it creates an invisible wall across the country. I just wanted to do something for them, something genuine and pure that no one would replicate."
On his journey from the Canadian border to Galveston, Texas, Ehredt stayed with 67 host families, most of whom were associated with the American Legion or veterans' groups. Ehredt said he drew joy and inspiration from these families, as well as the various individuals who joined him along the way.
Everyone tries to show their appreciation for the military—but this guy certainly did it in a big way. Congrats on finishing your journey.