Alex Estrella, a former Army Ranger and Gulf War veteran, achieved his goal running 405 miles from the main gate at MacDill Air Force Base to Key West.
He optimistically hoped to complete the personal challenge in eight days. However, it took more than 12 days to reach the 0-mile marker on U.S. 1 which happened Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
But his mission was about more than mileage. He wanted to honor Air Force Reserve Capt. Jamie Brunette, also of Tampa, who committed suicide in February and to raise awareness of veteran suicide and PTSD.
In addition, Estrella wanted to raise the visibility of two organizations helping veterans, Hope for the Warriors, a non-profit organization that provides veterans services, and the Elk Institute for Psychological Health and Performance where veterans and active-duty military can obtain free help with PTSD.
Veterans can get help by calling the Veterans Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, go online to chat live or text message to 838255.