New York man walking to raise funds for veteran suicide prevention and homelessness

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) A Poughkeepsie, New York, Navy veteran is walking across the U.S. to raise funds and awareness about homelessness and suicides among military veterans.

Tom Zurhellen started his walked from Portland, Orgeon, and plans to end in Poughkeepsie. He is commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Post 170 and said he steered the ZeroVet project after realizing there was a great need for veterans.

"Just finished off 500 miles so far," Zurhellen said. "Just been talking to everybody that I meet on the highways and byways and trying to get a sense of what it means to be a veteran in America

Currently there's a GoFundMe account for ZeroVet and it has raised more than $12,000. Zurhellen said their goal is to hit $40,000.

"You'd be surprise how many people know so little the issues our veterans are facing today," he said. "For instance, the 22 veterans that commit suicide everyday in America and those 40,000 veterans who are homeless in America. A lot of people say 'thanks for your service' and we think we're doing a lot for our veterans, but if we look closer we need to do a much better job."

On Saturday, he walked through Twin Falls and hopes to reach his destination by August.