CHAMPAIGN-URBANA Ill. (WAND) - William Shuttleworth is on a 3,000-mile walk in America in efforts to bring veteran awareness.
Shuttleworth served in the Air Force from 1970 to 1973 and in the National Guard from 1973 to 1975. He's a retired educator and school administrator.
"I'm a long way from home. I left my home in Newburyport, Massachusetts," said Shuttleworth
He says his goal is to walk to California in efforts to raise awareness for homelessness with veterans.
"one out of four Americans is homeless as a veteran."
He says he is also working towards encouraging veterans to run for office.
"When I went to the military in 1970, 75 percent of Congress were Veterans. Today there is less than 8 percent. So I'm going to encourage veterans to run."
Additionally, he says while he's been on his journey, he's met people every day and raising additional concerns. One example is veterans and the suicide rates.
"50 veterans kill themselves every day. Our health plan isn't good....we need to address this."
He says the pain of being a veteran never goes away.
"I've heard men tell me stories about Vietnam. Some have never shared those stories with their families. Additionally, it takes a toll on families. My hope is we provide better counseling sessions for our veterans."
Shuttleworth is not asking for money from people but he is asking people to join him on Vetsdontforgetvets.com
"People have been joining me a mile or two. Sometimes five or six."
He says the nicest part has been the number of new faces he encounters on a daily basis.
"Another way to help is to reach out to me on social media, on my site and offer me a bowl of soup, a conversation, a honk or a smile--it all makes the difference.
The Champaign Fire Department is letting Shuttleworth spend the night after hearing about his honorable mission.
To learn more about Shuttleworth visit https://vetsdontforgetvets.com/?fbclid=IwAR0BfBtoV6qO5sATrEod-f5wLaziwfKrFhP3tqh_8NKzKnEOt7u3UPv8GEU and follow his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/vetsdontforgetvets/