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Marine walks across the country barefoot

Ron Zaleski
Ron Zaleski

Today is day 220 of Ron Zalski’s journey across the country. Without shoes, he’s traveled about 2,000 miles. He has another 1,000 to go.

Zaleski is 58 and a grandfather. He left Massachusetts in June. His long journey is intended to bring attention to the high suicide rate of veterans, particularly those who come home from Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s been wearing a sandwich board as he walks alongside America’s roadways. It says “18 vets a day commit suicide.”

Today, he’ll be speaking at the New Mexico Veterans’ Integration Center in Albuquerque (13032 Central SE, near Tramway). And then he’ll keep on walking.

He’s collecting signatures on a petition demanding mandatory counseling for members of the military. He’d like to present them to President Obama on Veteran’s Day in 2011. You can sign the petition electronically at thelongwalkhome.org.