DALLAS, Texas (KETK) – John Mumby, a Gulf War veteran from East Texas, is currently on a journey where he is walking across the state in hopes of bringing more awareness to Gulf War illnesses, according to NBCDFW.

“This walk has given me renewed purpose,” Mumby told NBCDFW. “We need to help our veterans in a way that the system was meant to help them.”

Mumby started his adventure across the Lone Star State by leaving the East Texas town of Waskom with the goal of reaching El Paso.

The Gulf War Army veteran served in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

“Are there lingering issues that cross my mind every day? Yes, but if I focus solely on the negative, I’ll never make this 850-mile trek,” he said.

In the middle of his journey, Mumby took the time to stop by UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas to thank Dr. Robert Haley for his nearly three decades of research that has validated veterans’ claims.

“Back when we started this, the tide was turned completely against them. Nobody was interested in looking into this. It had been declared a psychological reaction to being deployed,” Haley told NBCDFW. “So we did the one study, and oh my gosh, it was real!”

Haley has conducted studies on over a thousand Gulf War veterans and his research has shown exposure to a diluted sarin gas, and a genetic predisposition to symptoms from that exposure, caused the multi-symptom illness that includes PTSD, chronic fatigue, muscle pain, and cognitive and coordination issues.

“It has just been so gratifying to meet them and see how much it means to them that somebody’s looking into it,” Haley told NBCDFW.

Mumby continued his journey across the Lone Star State after the visit, with Grand Prairie set as his next destination.

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