AUSTIN (KXAN) - Monday marks three years since the deadly massacre at Fort Hood. On that day in 2009 a gunman opened fire on post killing 13 people and wounding 32 others.
Now one man is on a mission to make sure the public doesn't forget the people who are still trying to recover from the tragedy. His journey led him to the State Capitol.
Chief Warrant Office Chris Royal made his way up 15th street Monday morning, taking the last strides of a five-day journey. Thursday, Royal started an 80-mile journey in Killeen with the goal of running to the State Capitol
The number on his shirt shows his mission: "32 Still Standing." It's for the 32 survivors who were wounded in the Fort Hood attacks -- 32 people Royal says are often forgotten.
"For some reason it is hard to get people to see the nature, the fight, the cry that we are enduring," Royal said, emotion evident as he choked back tears.
Royal has had to endure a lot himself. He suffered nerve damage in his back from a gunshot wound in the Fort Hood attack. It took a lot of work to recover. Then, he trained even harder to take on the journey to Austin.
"Every step of the way has been worth it," he said.
With the epic journey complete, Royal sat on the Capitol steps and talked about his mission.
"My fight right now is to get 32 Still Standing on its feet so that we can provide for the surviving victims until all of the legal matters are cleared up," he explained.
As his wife and young son joined him on the Capitol steps Royal got a show of support from a passerby, who shook Royal's hand.
"I just wanted to let you know that our family has never forgotten you," the man said as Royal stood to receive a hug.
"Thank you, man," Royal said with gratitude in his voice.
Royal said that many of the survivors of the Fort Hood attack still struggle with extra medical needs, as well as post traumatic stress disorder, which can affect their ability to find work after the military.
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