Afghanistan veteran walking 220 miles for mental health awareness

MichiganHuman InterestHealthCommunity
Collaborator: Rachael Schuit
Published: 08/20/2021, 2:52 AM
Edited: 08/31/2021, 12:16 AM

Photo Credit: Travis Snyder

(HOLLAND, Mich.) A United States Marine Corps veteran is walking more than 200 miles through northern Michigan to raise awareness for veterans mental health. 

Travis Snyder, a Holland resident who served in Afghanistan, started his walk in Manistee Monday and expects to finish in Mackinac City on August 28th, after averaging 15 to 20 miles per day. 

He started doing the walk in 2019, after losing a veteran he had served with to suicide. 

Raising awareness for veteran mental health has been especially important for Snyder after the Taliban took control of Kabul this week. 

Snyder served in Afghanistan from October 2017 until April 2018. His mission was to train, advise, and assist the Afghan army as they fought the Taliban. 

He says he's spoken with several Afghanistan veterans this week. 

"The frustrating thing I know for a lot of our guys, the first question is, was it all for nothing," said Snyder. 

He says he and his fellow veterans are worried for the safety of the Afghan people that they worked alongside. 

"We worked with a handful of interpreters and we stayed connected through social media," said Snyder. "There's one I worked with more than others on a particular mission, and I know he's still in Kabul right now trying to get his family to safety."

Snyder has a message for any veterans who might be struggling right now. 

"I just want to remind them that it was not for nothing," said Snyder. "You've served a purpose and you will continue to serve a purpose and if you're struggling, don't be afraid to talk about it. There's a community of folks that will be willing and ready to listen."

He also hopes everyone will take mental health seriously. 

"If someone opens up to you whether a veteran or not, you don't have to be a professional to be a healing presence," said Snyder. "If you can just be willing to listen it makes a huge difference."

During the walk Snyder is also raising awareness for Mission 22, an organization that is dedicated to helping veterans deal with post traumatic stress and preventing veteran suicide. 

If you would like to follow Snyder's journey you can on Facebook at: 

You can also find more information about Mission 22 at:


Ann Marie Worthley
08/28/2021, 2:06 PM

Great story!