LEONARDVILLE (KSNT) – Two veterans who set off on an Arctic odyssey earlier in July will be returning to their homes in Kansas later this week.

James Greer and Scott Smith embarked on their journey on July 1 with the goal of traveling 8,000 miles in 22 days to raise awareness for the number of veterans that commit suicide on a daily basis in the U.S. For transportation, the two men told 27 News that they would be using motorcycles: a Kawasaki KLR650 for Greer and a Honda Africa Twin for Smith.

According to the website describing the journey, a welcome home party will be held for the two men upon their return on Friday, July 22 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Food, beverages and beer will be available while a live DJ provides music.

Greer, a veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, said that he was pushing for an average of 300 miles per day on his motorcycle. As for the choice of going to the Arctic Circle, Greer said that it is meant to simulate the harsh environments that soldiers of both the past and present have faced.

“I want to make a difference,” Greer said. “I want people to know that this is what’s happening to your service members. These are the people that fight for your freedoms — and you know they come back and they’re dealing with these things, they’re struggling. They need people’s help.” 

To learn more about the Greer and Smith’s mission, click here. To track their progress, click here.