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Veteran running to Indianapolis to raise awareness

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Cpl. Cory Smith. Photo by Doug Strickland (Times Free Press). Cpl. Cory Smith. Photo by Doug Strickland (Times Free Press).

(WRCB) -- Corporal Cory Smith calls Indianapolis home. By car or plane, the trip from Ft. Benning, Georgia would be easy. But Smith is pounding the pavement for hundreds of miles all for a good cause.     

We caught up with Corporal Cory Smith, as he made his way through Chattanooga.

He says he is running for two reasons. One is to get back home to his baby daughter. The other is to help other veterans in need.

Smith, who has served almost four years as an Army Ranger, says veterans coming back home face so many challenges.

"Every 80 minutes in America, according the Veteran Affairs, there's a veteran suicide and only nine states actually claim those suicides," says Smith.

He says he has faced some challenges himself.

"You're kind of in this closed world where everybody kind of takes care of you in the military, but when you get out, you know, you're lucky even to have your parents around to take care of you," he says.

Smith says once he got back home, things were much rockier than expected. His wife left his home with his young daughter and he said he knew he had to do something to keep going.

"All I had left was an air mattress and a television. And that was it. And just a whole lot of emptiness inside," says Smith.

That is why he started running.

He is documenting his journey online, his Facebook page, 'Run Ranger Run.'

He started in Ft. Benning, Georgia. His goal? To reunite with his 18 month old daughter, Ellie, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

"That's the one thing that kind of keeps me going, knowing that I can make an impact on my daughter whenever I get there."

He hopes she can one day look back at his journey with a smile.

He also hopes to encourage other veterans to get the help they need when transitioning back to civilian life.

"If you stay motivated and you keep on pushing through, whether you're sprinting or whether you're walking, you can get there. You just gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other. And you can get there," says Smith.

Besides Facebook, Smith is also documenting his progress on Twitter, so you can follow him there:
He is also working closely with the non-profit organization, Gallant Few, that mentors veterans once they get back home. For more information on how you can help, go here:

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