Posted at: 09/10/2012 6:40 PM
Updated at: 09/10/2012 6:53 PM
By: Gordon Severson
Man Runs Across Country for Veterans
(ABC 6 News) -- People honor veterans in many ways, but one man in particular is running across America in honor of thousands who gave their lives defending our country.
Placing an American flag for every soldier who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Amongst a sea of corn just off of Highway 52, you'll come across a man pushing a stroller with no baby inside.
"Just to create a wall of thanks I guess from flag to flag," says Mike Eherdt.
With each passing mile, Mike Eherdt, a former Army Engineer and retired postman of 28-years, places a flag honoring someone who paid the ultimate price for freedom.
"Our guys are out there 7 days a week so I can be out there seven days a week," Eherdt chuckles.
It's actually his second time crossing the country.
In 2010, he ran East to West going well over 4,000 miles.
"That took about 5 ½ months but you know in the scheme of things, in your life 5 ½ months is like the blink of an eye," says Eherdt.
This time he's going North to South from International Falls all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.
Every flag that Eherdt puts up is tracked using geo-tagging technology. You can go to his website and search for a soldiers name.
Esing the coordinates you can track down the soldiers flag placed in the nearest mile marker.
It's a tough journey walking a marathon each day.
For Eherdt, it's the people he meets that keep him going.
Like the hundreds of families who give him a place to stay, but of all the people he's met, one mother in particular changed his life forever.
"She drove 27 hours from Alabama. I never knew she was coming. She just parked along the road and I came up and she said you gotta do my son's flag. And it was the very next one," Eherdt says.
A rare sign that simply reminds him what his journey is all about.
After finishing Monday’s run, Eherdt spent the night in Preston.
On Tuesday he'll spend the night in Decorah Iowa.
To follow his journey visit www.projectamericarun.com/