Dustin Johnson, a 25 year old U.S. Navy Veteran and Scott County resident, is on a mission. To understand that mission, one needs a background. Dustin lost his best friend to suicide just before getting out of the Navy. He had a very hard time making the adjustment from military life to civil life himself. He lived in two different towns and had three different jobs before moving to Southeast Missouri in the fall of 2018. He worked on remodeling a shop building into his own home. During the middle of the night, about two weeks after he moved everything in, his dog, Tigger, woke him up, his home was on fire. Living in a rural area, it took the fire crew some time to get there. It was very cold outside and everything was frozen. Within just minutes everything was gone. The fire crew was unable to save anything. His library he was building, his high school and college sports items and awards, his personal items, his Navy awards, all if his clothing, his running gear, and his brand new motorcycle ... everything gone. Just weeks after the fire, Dustin found himself at rock bottom and attempted to take his own life. Dustin survived that attempt. The doctors told Dustin his mind had given up on him but his body had not, don't waste it. A days after the doctor told him that Dustin says he heard a voice. The voice told him there are places you have never been, there are people you have never met and there is a cause you need to bring to the forefront. So Dustin started doing research on veteran suicide. He discovered that in an average day, 22 vetersans commit suicide and that number is rising each year. Dustin felt something needed to be done. Something extreme needed to be done.
Dustin has always loved running. Since he was little running long distance was a passion. When Dustin was in high school, he learned about a man that ran around the world. With research after his suicide attempt, he found out there had still never been an American to run around the world. He discovered this World Record would included four continents and 16,300 miles. Dustin had his mind set on attempting this World Record, to become the first American and the youngest to run around the world. Putting the two of these missions together brings us to Dustin Johnson's World Record Run for Veterans Suicide Awareness.
Along the path to fulfill his quest of running around the world, Dustin's journey has changed BUT his mission never waivered. Dustin ran from Lambert, Missouri across Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina to Myrtle Beach, ran from Lima, Peru across Peru, Chile, and the Andes Mountains to Buenos Aires Argentina in South America, then ran from Lisbon, Portugal across Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria to Istanbul Turkey. Since much of Australia was experiencing wildfires, he was not allowed into the country to run. Poor air quality and strained resources left him without the World Record BUT the mission never changed !
On January 31st, 2020 Dustin flew from Turkey to Los Angeles, California. His U.S. route took him back across the states and back home to tiny Lambert, Missouri.
His total miles when finished were around 10,000 miles.
Throughout the run, no matter the weather or the terrain, Dustin continued to push his cart with all of his gear, camp out at night and continued to bring awareness to the Veterans Suicide epidemic. In our opinion, Dustin Johnson is a true American hero.