YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A 71-year-old veteran is walking across the country to raise awareness about veterans needing more care and resources. Tuesday, he walked through the Youngstown area.
According to WKBN, William Shuttleworth, who served in the United States Air Force, is traveling by foot from his hometown of Newburyport, Massachusetts to Vanderberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California.
He began his journey on May 15, stating that he’s walking because veterans across the country need more resources.
“All the freedoms that we have in this country are often the results of incredible service by veterans… we can’t let that die,” he told thew news outlet.
Shuttleworth walks 20 miles a day, carrying everything he needs in a backpack. He said he uses walking sticks, while also drinking and eating regularly. When necessary, he stops to purchase new shoes.
“It’s amazing how little you really need in life, to live a simple life and if people recognize that they could share some of their gifts with the veterans and those in need, we’ll all be better off,” he told WKBN.
Shuttleworth explained that while walking he reflects on the purpose behind his journey and conversations he’s had along the way.
“I’m usually on the road by 5 o’clock in the morning. I walk until I thankfully walk into a diner. I have breakfast and meet as many people as I can… and then I continue walking and my day ends sometime around 7 o’clock, so I walk between 12-15 hours everyday,” he reportedly said.
During his walk Shuttleworth stops and talks to people. He said he shares his cause with them, hoping to raise awareness and that some may even make contributions.
Since he started walking, Shuttleworth has raised $35,000 for the Disabled American Veterans Association. His goal is to raise $100,000.
Shuttleworth told the news outlet he feels the government should be doing more for our veterans and hopes lawmakers learn about his walk. He also hopes to ultimately achieve the following five goals:
- Elect a veteran at the national, state and local level.
- Eliminate veteran homeless by 2030.
- Offer free medical care for any veteran who was ever drafted and was discharged with an Honorable Discharge.
- Guarantee medical and mental health treatment within 30 days for all veterans.
- Increase starting pay for enlistees to a ‘livable wage.’
He is walking approximately 31 miles each day and hopes to arrive in Vanderberg AFB by October. Anyone who sees him along the way is encouraged to stop and say hello.
Those who are interested can also make donations on his website, vetsdontforgetvets.com.