Herschel Walker talks mental illness with Ft. Jackson soldiers - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Herschel Walker talks mental illness with Ft. Jackson soldiers

FORT JACKSON, SC (WIS) -

He was one of the most legendary running backs to ever play football -- Herschel Walker -- and on Wednesday, he was in deep in the heart of Gamecock country.

The former Georgia Bulldog was at Fort Jackson as part of his ongoing effort to help our men and women in uniform.

Walker has visited more than 30 military bases with a very simple, but personal message.

It's all about overcoming obstacles,  but not quite like the ones Walker submitted himself to Wednesday morning.

"I've never rappelled before in my life," said Walker, "it was my first time."

You could hardly tell Walker had a fear of heights. Getting over that, though wasn't so bad. Walker's struggle with mental illness was very different.

The former running back and current mixed martial artist talked to a group of who will become the next wave of the U.S. Army -- a group who might one day need to take Walker's advice.

"I'm not ashamed to talk about it, because that's what I think saved my life and saved the lives of people around me," said Walker.

Walker hopes his name and reputation as a bruiser will let these soldiers know you're never too tough, even if most of them weren't born when he was setting records.

"My dad always told me a lot about Herschel Walker when I was growing up," said soldier Deion Bradley. "I kind of idolized him. He made me want to go to UGA. To see him here today was an honor."

"To have young men and women who may be losing their lives because of what they have to struggle with, it's something we have to take a lot more responsibility for. So that's one reason I'm excited to come out and do whatever I can to help," said Walker.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

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