Army veteran visits Longview for state-wide walk for Gulf War Syndrome awareness
LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - Army veteran John Mumby fought for his country, and now he is fighting to raise awareness about unexplained health issues experienced by veterans.
Mumby is walking across the state of Texas to raise awareness of Gulf War Syndrome.
From fatigue, to headaches, to body pain and breathing problems, the US Department of Veteran Affairs said some Gulf War veterans came home and started experiencing a variety of unexplained, chronic symptoms.
“I am walking across Texas,” Mumby said. “I started out in Waskom; I’m going to the main gate of Fort Bliss in El Paso.”
The 850 mile walk is to raise awareness and funds for Gulf War illnesses, something Mumby experiences everyday.
“I was in the first Gulf War back in 1990-91. A couple of years ago, it really hit me hard, this unexplained illnesses,” Mumby said. “A lot of it’s neurological. You get muscle cramps; you get muscle spasms. And, you may ask, ‘How in the heck are you walking across the state with muscle cramps and muscle spasms?’ Well, I take medications, and I do eat healthy. I stop when I need to stop.”
On Wednesday, Mumby stopped in Longview at Operation Unbroken, a retail store with veteran-owned brands.
“We want for people to know what he’s doing, why he’s doing it, and how they can support him,” the owner of Operation Unbroken, Lucero Harris, said.
Mumby started his journey on October 3. He plans to walk about 20 miles per day across the state of Texas.
“It is amazing how the people just come out to say, ‘Hey, I want to help,’” Mumby said. Some see him and share food and water, but he said his favorite part is “meeting new people. Getting to hear their stories.”
Mumby walked for veterans last year from Winnsboro to Austin. On his way out of Winnsboro, he said “This lady pulled me over, and she told me about her daughter who suffered from Gulf War illness and felt like nobody cared, and she’s now got hope, she’s now got hope.”
After his journey last year, Mumby decided he would walk across the state to raise awareness and funds. He is hoping to raise money for the Colonel Bill Davis Research Fund at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
“So many guys out there, so many veterans, they can’t sit here and talk to you, and I think that it’s very courageous that John is willing to be that voice for others,” Harris said.
“I know it’s going to be challenging, but it’s worth the challenge,” Mumby said.
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