John Ulstrom has finally crossed the finish line, taking his first step into Washington D.C. about 8 p.m. Monday.
Ulstrom completed his 1,500 mile walk 60 days after he left his Desdemona home, and although he has reached his destination, his work is just beginning.
"The reason for the walk is to talk to lawmakers to bring change for our veterans," Ulstrom said Monday. "Now I am here and it is time to get to work."
Ulstrom has meetings scheduled with senators John Cornyn and Patty Murray, Representative Mike Conaway and others to discuss the lack of mental health treatment in VA hospitals.
While he expects to remain in D.C. throughout the week, he said he "will stay as long as there are people that will talk to me."
Ulstrom was scheduled to meet with representatives from Our Forgotten Warriors (OFW) in front of the White House this morning. OFW is a Washington-based non-profit that has assisted Ulstrom along the way.
"The first week was the toughest," Ulstrom said. "After that, the whole trip felt very natural."
He said his trip was made easier by the "outpouring of support from the American people."
"I feel like I have done a lot already," Ulstrom said.
One of the most memorable moments of his trip was the opportunity to meet with Joe Vitalec's widow. Ulstrom dedicated his trip to Vitalec, who lost his life after his battle with post traumatic stress disorder.
"She explained how the system failed him and that he didn't receive the treatment he needed," Ulstrom said. "There are so many people I have met whose lives have been impacted by PTSD."
Now that Ulstrom has completed his trip, he has run in to an unforeseen obstacle.
Several lawmakers he was hoping to meet with are now packing their offices after losing their seats on Nov. 2.
"It is difficult to schedule a meeting with someone who will not be making decisions next session, and new lawmakers won't be here until January," Ulstrom said.
He expects to make his return to Texas by plane later this week.