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Iowa Veteran Running for Mental Health Awareness

BETTENDORF, Iowa  --  A veteran from Bettendorf is spreading awareness about mental health care of veterans.

Brian Geerts spent the past 16 days running across Iowa, carrying an American flag. A crowd cheered him on as he ended his 359-mile run at Veterans Memorial Park in Bettendorf.

Along his run, he talked with people about PTSD and suicide in veterans. Geerts says it was those encounters that made every mile worth it.

"He got out, gave me a hug, and started crying, and said, 'thank you, brother,' and that honestly is the most moving part of this. And if it touches one person, which it did touch him, that means the world to me," said Geerts. "This isn't the end. It's just the beginning of me trying to raise awareness and funds. It was more amazing than I thought it would be."

Geerts has a special connection to Bettendorf's Veterans Memorial Park. His name, along with his father's, stepfather's, and brother's are all engraved on a memorial in the park.