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Texas man aims to raise awareness for veterans at Eugene Pro Rodeo

Mike Long moves from city to city setting up information booths for veterans who are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder or families who know a veteran who is experiencing it.

Posted: Jul 2, 2019 6:26 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- For Mike Long, traveling the country for months on end means he'll be getting his message out to more people, and luckily the Eugene Pro Rodeo is one of his stops. 

He moves from city to city setting up information booths for veterans who are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder or families who know a veteran who is experiencing it. 

RELATED: EUGENE PRO RODEO TO HOLD 'TOUGH ENOUGH TO WEAR PINK' NIGHT

Long, who is a disabled veteran himself, knows firsthand how difficult it it is to be a veteran. He joined the United States Army in 1975 toward the end of the Vietnam war. 

Decades later, he's using his experiences to make a change in other veterans' lives, and he wants them to know that helping him is his top priority.

"I'd do anything and everything I can to be the hands of kindness and ask America to join me in this," said Long. "Whatever it takes to keep a veteran alive."

Long's journey began four years ago. Since then, he believes he's traveled over 80,000 miles on and off.  He is completely self-funded and says he sleeps in his car most nights with his service dog, Coco. 

"I don't mind," said Long. "I got veterans sleeping out there in the dirt. I can go through this for 30 to 45 days every so often."

But he mostly hopes that this initiative sets an example for people everywhere to always be kind, especially to veterans.

Long will be at the Eugene Pro Rodeo all week and he hopes visitors will stop by and say hello.

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