Marine Corps veteran marches through East Tennessee to support v

Marine Corps veteran marches through East Tennessee to support veterans

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At last count, Justin Kuhel walked 413 miles in his journey so far. On Monday, alone, he took 54,557 steps and burned 5,734 calories. He's hoping people across the country will support his cause to help out veterans. At last count, Justin Kuhel walked 413 miles in his journey so far. On Monday, alone, he took 54,557 steps and burned 5,734 calories. He's hoping people across the country will support his cause to help out veterans.
He is currently on day 17 of his trek. He is currently on day 17 of his trek.
By CAMERON TAYLOR
6 News Reporter


NEWPORT (WATE) - A Marine Corps veteran is marching nearly 3,000 miles across the country to raise money and awareness for two charities. Justin Kuhel started his journey at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina at the end of May and plans to finish it at Camp Pendleton, California in mid-October. 

At last count, Justin Kuhel walked 413 miles in his journey so far. On Monday, alone, he took 54,557 steps and burned 5,734 calories. He's hoping people across the country will support his cause to help out veterans.

Walking with an American flag and a backpack, 25-year-old Justin Kuhel is making his way through East Tennessee. Before starting nursing school in January, he's going from North Carolina to California to support veterans. 

"It just seemed like something easy to do and this gives me a chance to interact with the most people especially since I'm going across the country," said Kuhel.

His cause is making people stop on the side of the road and allowing businesses to donate what they can. Kuhel has a personal connection from serving in the Marine Corps from 2006 to 2010. He says the march is his way of giving back. 

More online: March Across America

"You don't always see how supportive this country is of their veterans and they really are and I have seen that every day," said Kuhel.

On average, he walks about 23 to 25 miles a day. His mother is one of many helping him. 

"Just to have a child of yours that looks at something and says I can do something about this and just goes and does it. Doesn't worry about how you're going to do it or why you can't do it. You just do it and make your difference in the way you can and you can't be prouder," said Nancy Kuhel, his mother.  

Kuhel tracks his progress on Twitter as a way to further the mission of his march. 

"They are not forgotten about by any means. People still do support and recognize the sacrifices that they've made," said Kuhel.  

He is hoping to raise $100,000 by the end of his March Across America for the Head Strong Project, which gives veterans free mental healthcare services and Help Our Military Heroes, which gives cars to severely injured veterans. So far Kuhel has raised about $15,000. 

Kuhel will stay in Newport on Monday and will make his way to Pigeon Forge starting Tuesday morning. 

More online: March Across America Route

By Wednesday night, he's expected to be in Knoxville. 





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