NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y.-- Western New York was celebrating the return of U.S. Army Sergeant Joshua Geartz of North Tonawanda Sunday evening.
Sergeant Geartz rode his wheelchair 422 miles across the state to raise awareness for veteran suicides. Twenty-two is commonly known as the number of suicides that military members commit every day.
Geartz was hit by an IED on his last day in Baghdad back in 2003, where he suffered a traumatic brain injury, blood clots and PTSD once he returned home.
He tried to take his own life in 2014.
Geartz is now trying to use his own experiences to help others. This is how he described living with PTSD and dealing with the after-effects of service life: "You're not yourself. You're just... you're not there. You're a zombie, there's just no emotion, and that adds into it, making you feel like, 'Well, what's wrong with me? Well, why aren't I feeling anything? Why don't I care about anything?'"
© 2017 WGRZ-TV