Veteran walking across country to bring awareness to suicide stops at Beloit College
A U.S. Navy veteran and college professor is bringing awareness to veteran suicide and homelessness by walking thousands of miles across the country.
Tom Zurhellen started his journey in Portland, Oregon in early April. On Thursday he made a special stop at his alma mater, Beloit College, as he crossed through America’s Dairyland.
“I am walking across the country to raise awareness on veterans’ issues of mental health and homelessness in our country. The goal is to walk 22 miles a day,” he said.
The New York native said the number 22 represents how many veterans take their own life every day. He said he has walked around 2,000 miles so far.
"My experience recently as the commander of the local VFW in Poughkeepsie really opened my eyes to how many of our local veterans really needed help," he said.
He said he chose to walk to not only challenge himself, but those in the communities he passed through.
“Whenever I think about the pain I am experiencing, I think about the pain our veterans are experiencing in the areas of mental health and homelessness, and it makes my problems seem really small," he said.
Zurhellen arrived in Wisconsin on July 13 and will head out by July 24. He said his goal is to raise $40, 387 which represents the number of homeless veterans on the street every night.
He has around 800 miles to go until he reaches his final destination in New York.
For more information on how to help Zurhellen on his journey, visit VeteranZero's