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Two Hoosiers on the 'Route for the Brave'

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Posted at 10:47 PM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 22:47:03-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- Two Indiana men are walking across the country with a goal to help military members and their families.

They started on the east coast. On Thursday night, they were happy to have made it to the Hoosier state.

Kevin Winton and David Roth are four weeks in to a nearly four-month hike from the East Coast to the West Coast – close to 3,100 miles.

But their journey is measured in more than distance and time – it's measured in signatures on an RV, and the stories behind them.

"This is his friend," Roth said. "Took him 15 minutes to sign this with tears just falling down. I mean, it's tough."

The names include supporters and service members they meet along the way.

It's all part of the "Route for the Brave" campaign.

The goal is to raise $3.6 million to build a retreat property for families of fallen service members.

One of the names written on the bus belongs to Staff Sgt. Jonathan Metzger, a Hoosier soldier who was killed in action by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2012.

His widow, Ericka, wrote his name on the bus for others to read and remember.

"I don't want him to be forgotten, and to be able to sign here and have this travel across the United States with his name on it means a lot," Ericka Metzger.

The retreat is supposed to be a place where families of fallen service members can stay in the weeks and months after they are asked to move from the base where they were stationed. Not only will they have room and board, but also access to government services to make sure things like their benefits and insurance needs are taken care of.