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Iraq War Vet Hiking 7,000 Miles To Help Fellow Vets Pauses In Philadelphia

(Troy Yokum, during a stop at a Modell's Sporting Goods store in center city Philadelphia.  Modell's is one of the sponsors of his trek.  Photo by Paul Kurtz)

(Troy Yokum, during a stop at a Modell’s Sporting Goods store in center city Philadelphia. Modell’s is one of the sponsors of his trek. Photo by Paul Kurtz)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - An Iraq War vet who is hiking his way across the country to raise funds for fellow veterans and their families was in Philadelphia today.

Troy Yokum has been on the road for over a year now.  He has hiked through the desert, across the mountains, and over thousands of miles of highway, all in effort to raise funds for his fellow war veterans.

“We have an all-time record high suicide rate — 18 veterans a day killing themselves,” he tells KYW Newsradio.   “We have a 27-percent unemployment rate, and also homelessness is way out of control.  One out of three homeless are now a veteran.”

See the special KYW Regional Affairs Council series on returning Gulf War veterans,  “Coming Home: Are WE Ready?”

Yokum, 31, began walking on April 17th of last year.  He took his first steps in Louisville, Ky. and made it all the way out to San Diego, then started his long walk back to the east coast.

And it hasn’t been easy.

“I got kidney stones in the Colorado mountains. I got a foot infection in Texas, strained my neck in South Carolina.”

He’s also picked up a lot of support along the way, from corporate sponsors to strangers who simply want to donate to his cause or walk with him.

He’s expected to wrap up his journey in September, back in Louisville.

Anyone who wants to help Troy’s fundraising campaign can do so by going to www.wishuponahero.com.

Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060