For many, a hike around the block is viewed as a daunting task. For Richmond Hill native and National Guard Infantryman John Ring, only the ocean can stop him.
Starting October 1st of 2019, Ring will begin a lengthy journey on foot from the Tybee Island Pier in Georgia all the way to the Santa Monica Pier in California – a total of 2,462 miles which he estimates will take approximately 80 days.
40 year old John Ring, Chairman for the DPG Veterans and Military Families Caucus for the state of Georgia, said in a press release, “I am about to embark on an amazing journey to help raise money for my fellow veterans suffering from addictions, PTSD, and homelessness.” he continues by stating, “We are including our Gold Star Families. They have not received a pay increase since 1993! A Gold Star Family is the family of a Service member killed in the of duty: Killed in Action or died from injuries or illnesses from their military service. Family includes the spouse, child, parent, or brother and sister.“
Ring will be walking on behalf of Buddy Watch, Inc. (Buddy Watch), a Midway, GA-based non-profit created in 2017 by Jo Coleman. Their mission is to grow awareness and gain support to help Veterans in the Coastal Empire. As of the time of writing, Buddy Watch has purchased property near Ft. Stewart and has begun the process of breaking ground on a brand-new health clinic. Buddy Watch also offers assistance for Veterans suffering from mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military sexual trauma (MST). Plans are in place to begin working on a tiny home project to help find placement for homeless Veterans as well.
The Facebook page Buddy Watch Walk – Pier to Pier has been set up to track Ring’s journey. His route for Georgia has already been published:
Highways: 80, 46, 56, 86, 29, 257, 80, 358, 96, 80.
Towns/Cities: Tybee Island, Wilmington Island, Savannah, Garden City, Pooler, Bloomingdale, Eden, Register, Pulaski, Metter, Stillmore, Nunez, Covena, Norristown, Dudley, Montrose, Allentown, Danville, Bonaire, Warner Robin’s, Fort Valley, Reynolds, Butler, Junction City, Geneva, Columbus, and Bibb City.
For the rest of the planned route, follow Buddy Watch Walk – Pier to Pier.
Donations and corporate sponsorships are being accepted to assist in funding this journey. Donations can be made directly to Buddy Watch https://www.buddywatchinc.org/donate. 100% of the donations will go to Buddy Watch, Inc. and for trip expenses.