71-year-old Air Force veteran William Shuttleworth has completed his 3,000-mile trek from Newburyport, Massachusetts to San Diego, California. He was honored in a welcome home celebration at Newburyport’s City Hall Thursday morning.
With the intention to raise awareness for veteran’s issues, Shuttleworth has raised $59,595 for his cause, “Vets Don’t Forget Vets.” He began his walk in May of this year and was expected to complete it in October but made it all the way to the west coast an entire month early. Pretty good for a 71-year-old man. Shuttleworth was grateful that he had the stamina and health to finish the journey.
The march was planned with the purpose of raising money for the Disabled American Veterans Association and to speak with veterans, from sea to shining sea, about their concerns. He left Massachusetts on May 15, and planned to complete his march at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in October, well-done sir. He said that he used to cover about 20miles a day prior to his march. Good training and exercise. He can handle more than that now.
Shuttleworth’s walk was also designed to raise awareness for veteran’s issues, such as health, homelessness, and finances. Last summer, he had been running a campsite in California. There, he had created three spaces reserved for homeless veterans. He would talk with the veterans that were camped out there about their stories of homelessness, and suicidal thoughts. He decided that he would do something about it. It is said that 22 veterans a day commit suicide. Too many.
“I walk 20 miles a day; why not walk in a straight line across the country for veterans.” Shuttleworth told a gathering of Veterans for Foreign Wars back in July.
The 71-year-old Air Force vet arrived in San Diego on September 1. “To know that you can still do this at my age of 71 for veterans and do this for veterans…it’s pretty emotional,” he said.
When he made it back home he was given a hero’s reception. Here’s the video.
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