On June 4, 23-year-old Matt Kerner began walking from San Francisco, California on a journey that will take him about 4,400 miles, finally ending in Washington D.C. next January. The Denver area resident is attempting to raise $30,000 to aid veterans and their families across the nation.
Kerner was inspired to take the trip after learning about the problems that many veterans faced upon returning home from combat tours of duty. Though Kerner is not a veteran himself, his brother Justin Kerner is a Marine Corps sergeant who served several combat tours in Iraq. After returning home, Justin battled with post traumatic stress disorder and knew several fellow combat veterans who committed suicide. Matt is walking across the nation in part to help veterans dealing with the financial stress that accompanies combat service.
Matt is walking to raise funds through Active Heroes, a nonprofit organization which aids military families and veterans with financial and job placement assistance. The founder of Active Heroes, Troy Yocum, took a 7,000 mile walk in 2010 and 2011, a journey of 18 months.
After beginning his journey in early June, Matt reached Twentynine Palms California on July 4th, where his brother was stationed. He spent the holiday with his family and is currently making his way through southern California towards Nevada. You can follow his progress on his Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/10millionpeoplewhosupportourtroops