John Ulstrom has returned from his two-month march to Washington, D.C.
Ulstrom trekked across the nation to raise awareness and advocate for more resources in the treatment of patients of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
While in the nation's capital, Ulstrom met with federal lawmakers advocating for more benefits for veterans who suffer from PTSD and other mental health issues.
He spoke with senators and congressman representing districts across the country.
"Meetings went well, but I was dissappointed that there were no promises [from lawmakers]," Ulstrom said, adding that everyone commended him for his efforts.
Ulstrom said the highlight of his work in D.C. occurred during an unscheduled meeting with an Ohio congressman.
"I had no appointments for the rest of the afternoon, but I took a chance and stopped by Congressman Dennis Kucinich's office," he said.
Kucinich was in a meeting when Ulstrom arrived in his office, but, at the encouragement of a staff member, Ulstrom waited until the congressman had finished his meeting. Ulstrom said he was very impressed with the results of the meeting.
"Kucinich is drafting a letter to be read to Congress explaining what I have done and why I've done it," Ulstrom said.
Ulstrom explained that the letter would be put into the Congressional Record. Ulstrom said he could be called on as a witness to provide testimony on PTSD during congressional hearings.
Ulstrom said his family was among the things he missed while making the cross-county trip.
"It felt so good to be back at home," Ulstrom said. "My wife and home is what I missed the most."
Ulstrom was all-in-all satisfied with his march to D.C. and the opportunity to spread his message along the way. He said he had a worst-case-scenario thought in the back of his mind, but his journey was anything but bad.
"It was so good. There was nothing unexpected along the way," Ulstrom said. "No accidents, no muggings; just a lot of really good people."
Ulstrom reflects fond memories of people he has met, stories he has heard and the opportunity to tell people about his issues. He said he has no regrets about any part of his trip.
Though he has returned from Capital Hill and sleeps comfortably in his own bed, Ulstrom said his work is not done.
Ulstrom said he will continue to raise awareness for the lack of treatment for veterans suffering with mental health illnesses. He said he plans on speaking to groups, writing letters to the nation's leaders and others and maintaining his blog in an effort to continue his advocacy.
"There is still work to do, I am not going to stop now just because I am back at home," Ulstrom said.
You can follow Ulstrom's work at his blog at www.johnulstrom.com.