Vietnam veteran Frank Romeo will be heading home to Bay Shore on Saturday, June 8, which is the last day of his 750-mile trek across New York.
He undertook the journey to raise awareness for post traumatic stress disorder affecting returning combat veterans — along the way stopping in schools and other community centers.
On March 1, the first day of his walk, Romeo was honored by the City of Buffalo and given a proclamation from Erie County before he started off.
On June 8, Long Islanders of all stripes are invited to meet Romeo at 11:30 at the Veteran’s Memorial at the head of Brightwaters Canal off Montauk Highway for the last leg of his walk.
Starting at noon, Romeo will walk two miles from the Brightwaters to Bay Shore High School.
The public is invited to join him at any point along the way.
The entire trek across the state, called Walk with Frank, is Romeo’s way of bringing attention to the plight of the American soldier.
On his journey, he’s been helping to drum up interest in the state’s education system for a Social Studies curriculum he helped create, along with the Bay Shore School District, called “The Experience of the American Soldier.”
The program was piloted in Bay Shore this school year.
The curriculum is the first of its kind and seeks to enlighten students on the men and women who fight in the wars we learn about in history and what they sacrifice in order to serve the country. Battle scars are not just physical, and Romeo is making a case for teaching this in school.
When he meets people, Romeo tells them:
“My name is Frank Romeo and I suffer mental illness,” or simply, “I suffer from PTSD.”
Top Photo: Frank Romeo with a Walt Whitman High School student a presentation in Huntington in the fall. (courtesy photo)