More than 6,000 miles is a long walk to start a conversation, but U.S. Army veteran Steve Meyers knows the topic is worth the effort. 

A veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Meyers set out on a cross-country trek in February to start a national conversation about PTSD, its effects, and the importance of seeking help if needed.

And start a conversation he did - many of them, in fact. 

Beginning his journey in Kansas City, Missouri, Meyers has since been through major cities such as St. Louis, Missouri; Indianapolis, Indiana; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Louisville, Kentucky, before making a stop this past Saturday in Leitchfield for an event with the Grayson County Veterans Resource Group at The Doghouse Barbershop in Leitchfield. 

After he reaches the east coast, Meyers will circle back and head west toward California. 

Meyers is trying to speak to as many people as possible about his experiences with PTSD in the hope that, by doing so, he can encourage others to open up about their own experiences and raise awareness of the severity of the issue. 

After serving 22 years in the Army, Meyers retired in 2016 as a SFC/E-7. During his service, he deployed seven times to Imminent Danger Pay Areas (Bosnia from 1996-1997, Turkey in 2003, Qatar in 2005, Iraq in 2005 and from 2006-2007, Egypt from 2011-12, and Afghanistan in 2013).

While events from his 2006-2007 deployment to Iraq troubled him, he says, at the time, it was common knowledge that if he sought mental health treatment, he could potentially lose his security clearance.

Additionally, during Meyers' more than 20 years in active duty, he saw none of his commanding officers ever seek treatment for PTSD, so there was no example for him to follow when he began suffering the effects of it. 

"They weren't talking about it, so I couldn't learn from it," he said. "If we're not talking about it, we're not learning...Every single person who's gone through it and survived has a piece of the puzzle."

Meyers hopes that, by travelling across the country and talking to more and more people, he will be able to collect more pieces to that puzzle and, potentially, lead to meaningful change. 

While he does not have all the answers, Meyers said the important part is to have the discussion and to ensure that others know help is out there if they need it. 

"I just want to get us to a point where we're talking about PTSD at the national level," he said. "We're not having the discussion, and people are putting the gun in their mouths."

For more information about how to help or to follow Meyers' journey, visit ptsd-walk.com.