A 1-mile walk could help veterans with the transition to a different lifestyle.

A 1-mile walk could help veterans with the transition to a different lifestyle.

Daniel Hutchison, representing Ohio Combat Veterans, said the inaugural 1-mile "Walk with a Hero" has been scheduled for 10 am. Saturday, March 3 (now June 2), at Creekside, with proceeds earmarked to help returning veterans transition back to civilian life.

The goal of the first walk is to raise $20,000, and $6,740 had been raised, as of ThisWeek's press time Jan. 24.

Individuals or teams may join by registering online at walkwithahero.org.

Walkers will have the opportunity to walk side by side with service men and women at the Creekside fundraiser.

"One team, one fight" are words veterans live by when they are overseas, and the same motto applies with care for returning vets, Hutchison said.

By participating in the walk or making a donation, the public would help to accomplish OCV's overall mission to show veterans they have support after they return home.

Hutchison served in Iraq from 2006 to 2007 as an Army medic with the Ohio National Guard.

"As a combat veteran myself, I am passionate about helping my brothers and sisters when they return home from combat," he said.

OCV, founded in May 2011, assists returning veterans in applying for benefits, finding jobs and providing a healthy social outlet.

Gahanna was chosen as the host for Walk with a Hero because the organization has been working with the Gahanna Division of Police since last year, Hutchinson said.

"We partnered to do training with law enforcement in how to respond to a veteran with post-traumatic-stress disorder," he said. "We've had so much support from Gahanna that we want to call Gahanna home. I wanted it to be where we intend to move."

Gahanna police Chief Dennis Murphy said Hutchison is a great American hero.

According to Murphy, Hutchison put a training program together to assist local law enforcement in helping vets with post-traumatic-stress disorder.

"When he tells a story, it's so compelling that cops' eyes mist up," he said. "His heart is pure, and he's focused. Anything I can do to make him successful, we'll help."

According to OCV's website, Ohio currently has 193,800 veterans, the sixth-highest population of veterans in America. More than 40,000 service personnel have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the estimates are that more than 300,000 will be diagnosed with post-traumatic-stress disorder or traumatic brain injury.

"We haven't even scratched the surface in dealing with veterans," Murphy said.

More about OCV can be found at ohiocombatveterans.org.