Man walking across U.S. to raise money for homeless veterans

Michael Gmur passes through Knob Noster on Aug. 29 via U.S. Highway 50 during his walk across the country.

KNOB NOSTER — Michael Gmur was in unbelievably high spirits on Thursday, Aug. 29, for someone who has been traveling dozens of miles on foot everyday halfway across America for the duration of the summer.

Gmur began walking on June 8 from one end of the country to the other in order to raise money for homeless veterans and said he has no intention of stopping until he is finished.

Gmur’s decision to complete this task came during a troubling time in his personal life.

Gmur is an actor living in California and is the caretaker for his brother, who has PTSD.

After losing out on a job he had been really hoping to land, Gmur decided it was the right time.

After making sure his family was cared for, he flew to Portland, Maine, where his walk across the country began.

To collect donations for veterans, Gmur started a GoFundMe page called “Walk Across America for Homeless Vets.”

All of the proceeds from the fundraiser will be split between Veterans of Foreign Wars and Disabled American Veterans.

Gmur said veteran organizations are important to him, as he served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2006 to 2010 and was deployed in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010.

Both of his brothers served in the military as well.

Gmur gave himself about two weeks before starting his journey and gathered most of the materials for his trip in a single hour at REI where an employee, ironically named Walker, showed Gmur everything he would need to make his cross-country trip.

Gmur’s advice for anyone planning to accomplish a similar feat would be to avoid trying to plan out every step of the journey.

“Don’t try to plan things out too much,” Gmur said. “When walking across the country, plans change everyday.”

Gmur follows his own advice, as he typically does not even know where he will end up sleeping each night.

He occasionally decides to stay in a hotel for the night or spends time staying with a friend or family member’s when he is passing by, but spends most nights camping.

Gmur said he likes to spend the first couple hours of walking each day in silence, giving him some time to think.

After this, he said he’ll have phone calls with friends and family or listen to inspirational speeches by people he admires, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Charlie Chaplin.

The finish line for Gmur lies on the west coast, specifically San Diego, which is where he plans to dive into the Pacific Ocean once he reaches it.

Staff Writer Dustin Steinhoff can be reached by emailing dustin.steinhoff@dsjnow.com or by calling (660) 747-8123.

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