Veteran walks across America, makes it to New York

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A veteran, who is walking across America, stopped in Buffalo along the way.

Tom Zurhellen started his journey in Portland, Oregon and is making his way back home to Poughkeepsie. He’s walking more than 2,800 miles in all, and only has about 300 more to go.

He’s doing it all for fellow veterans.

Zurhellen is a Navy veteran and is the commander of the VFW post in Poughkeepsie. He said that role has opened his eyes to the issues surrounding veterans, including suicide and homelessness. This journey has taught him what it’s like to be a homeless vet on the streets of America.

“I think the biggest thing we need to learn is that veterans are a peculiar bunch,” he said. “They don’t ask for help and they don’t share their stories with just anybody. So if you know a veteran, and lets face it everybody does, it’s really important to look a second time at the veterans that we love and make sure they’re ok.”

Zurhellen is walking 22 miles a day for the 22 veterans who reportedly commit suicide every day. He’s gone through five pairs of shoes and three walking sticks. He’s sprained two ankles and lost two toe nails.

For more information on his cause, and to donate, click here.

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