A Beloit College alum is working to end veteran homelessness
The alum is working to help struggling vets through an organization he founded.
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Back in 2019, Tom Zurhellen set out to walk nearly 3,000 miles to raise awareness about veteran homelessness and suicide. Now, thousands of miles, multiple books and one organization later, he has the same goals.
The Beloit College alum walked from Portland, Ore., to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to bring attention to the high number of suicides and homelessness among veterans.
“I can’t sing, I can’t dance, but I can walk and that’s why I started all this to raise more awareness,” said Zurhellen. “22 veterans die by suicide every day in the United States, and 40,387 veterans are homeless every night.”
Following his walk, Zurhellen received so much support; he continued on his mission. He has since written four books, which raise funds for veterans. He also started VetZero, which works to get the number of veteran suicides and homeless to zero.
Zurhellen, a Navy veteran himself, says that the struggle of returning to civilian life is the root of these problems for veterans. He hopes spreading the word will help get people involved who didn’t even realize the extent of the issue.
“Once people started talking to me, they were really surprised by these issues facing our veterans,” said Zurhellen. “We always say, ‘Thanks for your service,’ and we think we’re doing a good job for our heroes, but if you take a closer look, we’re really not.”
His new book, The Low Road: Walking the Walk for Veterans, is available on the VetZero website. All proceeds will go toward helping struggling veterans.
Donations go toward the organization’s veterans shelter, job building program and ride service for veterans to help get them to things like doctor appointments.
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