Anna Judd is running from Venice Beach, California to New York City. She stopped in Meridian last week.
On June 15th, three strangers from California arrived in Meridian, MS. One of them was burnt, bitten and exhausted. Her name is Anna Judd, and she is running across America.
"I started in Venice Beach, California, and I'm running all the way to New York City."
Accompanied by her friends "Robot" and "Pilot", Anna is putting in hundreds of miles on multiple pairs of Nike shoes to raise money and awareness for American veterans who are suffering every day."
"Veterans are probably the most in-need of our compassion and our support as a community," said Judd, who pointed out that an average of 22 veterans commit suicide every day.
Just two years ago, Anna befriended "Robot," an immensely talented California photographer who joined her in volunteering at the Long Beach V.A. Hospital. The two women began interviewing veterans there and met more in homeless shelters.
"We just kind of really connected with this movement and it's blossomed into this,” said Robot.
Now, as Anna runs across the free world, her crew has partnered with Team Red, White and Blue and the Wounded Warrior Project to help veterans in need.
"We raise money for them through “Charity Miles,” which is an app on your iPhone where you can walk, run or bike [and] log your miles,” said Bot. “You get donations for the miles through corporate sponsorships."
And American veterans have taken notice. In Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and Mississippi, vets have joined Anna on her run and shared stories of lost friend while others spoke of the struggle to re-enter civilian life.
"Call me an idealist but change is possible," said Judd.
As you watch Anna push through mile after mile, you have to wonder: How does a 29-year-old artist. -who had no interest in any sport- run from Venice Beach, California to New York City?"
Find out how on Thursday when WTOK airs part two of Anna’s incredible story.