Mike Ehredt's long journey is over, and in his trail is an incredible memorial to the more than 2,000 American service members who died in Afghanistan.
The 51-year-old Ehredt, an Army veteran himself, spent the past 10 weeks running from northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. His journey was exactly 2,140 miles, and for every mile he ran he planted a flag in the ground to honor a fallen service member.
Two years ago Ehredt made a similar journey, running 4,424 miles from Oregon to Maine and planting flags for those who died in Iraq.
"It's to honor and say thank you to those that died in Iraq and Afghanistan," Ehredt told ABC News. "I stop each mile, put a flag down that bears the name, rank, and hometown, in the numerical order of their deaths, and it creates an invisible wall across the country. I just wanted to do something for them, something genuine and pure that no one would replicate."
Ehredt's trip took eight weeks, making his pace roughly one marathon per day. Not bad for a grandfather of three.
On his journey from the Canadian border to Galveston, Texas, Ehredt stayed with 67 host families, most of whom were associated with the American Legion or veterans' groups. Ehredt said he drew joy and inspiration from these families, as well as the various individuals who joined him along the way.
"I can honestly say if I was this enthused about my work when I was working for the post office ... I would never have retired," Ehredt told ABC News. "I'm enthused about getting up every day."
To learn more about Ehredt and Project American Run, see here.
(H/T to Daily Mail)