D2’s Amundson aids military veteran
Novak in cross-country cause

Just weeks into his journey, recently retired Army veteran Jimmy Novak crossed into the state of Idaho. It’s his first state-line crossing on his walk from Washington to Florida to raise awareness for veterans who may struggle with suicidal thoughts.

According to his Facebook page, Novak himself has experienced suicidal thoughts, and he wants to start his retirement by reminding others that “suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary set of problems and it doesn’t end the pain. Suicide passes the pain on to the people who love us.”

Jimmy strives to walk 22 miles a day, a number he says corresponds to the number of veterans who commit suicide each day. If all goes as planned, he will reach Disney World on August 22. His trek has garnered much attention, first in Seattle and now in Lewiston.

ITD’s own Allen Amundson heard Jimmy was close by and set out to meet him, first in Pomeroy, Washington. Besides hosting him in his own home, Allen was able to gather donated clothing (including a high-visibility vest), new shoes, tube liners for his stroller and mini American flags.

Allen also found him other places to rest on his trip south on US-95 and even escorted him at times, pacing the veteran with a truck bearing two flags. Although not a veteran himself, Allen is the proud son of an Army veteran and the father of a Marine veteran.

“I had a Marine flag and an American flag proudly flying,” Allen said. 

Allen said his father didn’t talk much about his time with the Army, and it wasn’t until his son shared his experiences in Afghanistan that his mindset changed.

“Most people have no clue about the sacrifices that our current military and veterans have went through to keep our country free,” Allen said. “Reaching out to Jimmy is me saying thank you and hopefully it will help him in his journey to overcome his challenges.”

If you would like to also help Jimmy, follow him by visiting his website or Facebook page.

Here is a recent story on Novak in the Idaho County Free Press..

Published 04-19-19