William Shuttleworth. (WBZ NewsRadio)
NEWBURYPORT, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Earlier this year, William Shuttleworth, 71, embarked on a coast-to-coast walking journey to raise awareness about the issues facing veterans. He dubbed the walk "Vets Don't Forget Vets."
On September 1, he finished that long walk—and now, three and a half months and five pairs of sneakers later, the Air Force veteran is back home in Newburyport.
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal caught up with him this morning at Newburyport City Hall, where he was welcomed back with a ceremony.
"I wanted to focus on the number of veterans that have taken their lives, it's up to 50 a day," Shuttleworth said. "I want the same healthcare plan for veterans that Congress has. I want more vets elected."
Shuttleworth also said he wants to end veteran homelessness by 2030, address veteran opioid and drug addiction, raise the starting pay for all enlisted soldiers, and raise $100,000 for the Disabled American Veterans Charitable Trust.
He began his journey back on May 15.
71-Year Old Veteran From Newburyport Begins Walk Across America For Vets
On his website, vetsdontforgetvets.com, Shuttleworth said at his half-way point that he learned a few things from his walk: that many people love the country's veterans and want them to get the help they deserve, and that "the heard of this country is filled with goodness."
"One might get a distorted view of this country by tuning into the nightly news, but if you want to see America at its very best, put a pair of walking shoes on and start walking across this country," he wrote.
Shuttleworth thanks everyone who followed his journey for supporting the troops, and hopes more people ask that veterans' care be funded.
"We can't let go of what these veterans need in this country," he said.
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports