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South Tyneside army veteran’s 1,000 mile trek across USA for charity

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A former soldier from South Tyneside has reached the half way point in a 1000-mile trek across the USA to raise awareness of mental health among forces veterans.

Kev Carr has spent the last seven weeks making his way across America from LA to New York in a bid to boost cash for charity Walking With The Wounded.

The 35-year-old, from South Shields - who is on his mission with five other veterans - is now at the halfway point of his journey.

So far the group has walked through LA, San Diego, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Yellowstone National Park , Grand Teton and Mount Rushmore.

Mr Carr said: The team are in peak condition and moral is high. We are currently in Denver Colorado.

“We’ve had lots of local media interest out here and they often come and meet us at the start or at the end of our walk each day.

“People have come up to us in the street and given us donations or shaken our hands because they’ve seen us on the TV. We speak to everyone we can about why we’re doing this and raising money.”

Mr Carr embarked on the voyage after opening up about his personal mental health struggles.

He was a private in the Royal Logistics Corps and served in Iraq in 2003, where he was detached to the Queens Dragoon Guards. Serving on the frontline, he would supply ammunition and pick up prisoners while constantly being under attack from the enemy.

However, Mr Carr says he is lucky to be alive after depression and difficulty adapting to civilian life led to him attempting to take his own life.

The father-of-three, was found by friends and taken to hospital, where a doctor who had military knowledge referred him to a specialist charity helping veterans.

It led to him being given a place at The Beacon, an Armed Veterans Centre in North Yorkshire, where he is receiving support after being diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

Mr Carr said: “The best moments were climbing Mystic falls in Yellowstone National Park and reaching the halfway point .

“I’ve had an emotional moment with a Vietnam veteran at Mount Rushmore when I thanked him for his service and he cried in my arms which brought what we are doing to reality.

“PTSD is a hidden injury and we are trying to raise as much awareness of this.”

To donate visit walkingwiththewounded.org.uk