Hello, my name is Shane Moore. I am a veteran of the USN (90-96). For much of my life, I have been fairly self absorbed, always worried more about my own problems than those of others. That isn’t to say that I never helped anyone else, I did, but only if they came and asked for help. I never went out of my way to help others, which honestly didn’t make any sense, because the times I did help others, it made me feel good about myself.
For the majority of my life, things have gone fairly well for me financially. Like most, I have had my ups and downs, but overall things have been good. A few years ago, that changed when I found myself unemployed and burning through $20,000 in savings. I was on the verge being homeless with a teenage daughter to look after. I was fortunate enough to have an old Navy buddy of mine reach out to me and help me get back on my feet. My daughter has now graduated from high school and is preparing to move to Texas to go to school. I have a job that I enjoy and rent a cute little house on a quite street in the suburbs. Life is pretty good.
The problem is that something is just missing from my life. That something is a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Since the time my friend reached out to me, he has involved me in several charity activities and I always came away feeling better. Therefore, I have decided it is time to sacrifice the comfort I have and do something big to help others. Being a vet and having been on the verge of homelessness myself, I have decided to give up my job and house in order to experience a small portion of the vulnerability that nearly 50,000 veterans experience on a nightly basis. I will be walking across the country from Jacksonville Beach, FL to San Diego, CA in order to raise money and awareness for homeless vets. The goal is to raise at least $25,000, but I hope to raise much more than that.
I plan to use 100% of the money to work with good, reputable organizations that do real work to help homeless vets or to directly help homeless vets I meet along the way. I have a good bit of experience backpacking and I am fully prepared to eat the way I do when camping or to rely on the kindness of strangers I meet along the way. By the same token, I plan to sleep in either my tent or my hammock. Based on my research, I am sure that from time to time I will meet someone that will offer me a bed for the night. I’m a big guy, but very friendly and non-scary looking! I will be using some of my own savings to cover my personal expenses, but hopefully along the way I will pick up some sponsors to help cover my expenses which I expect to be around the area of $5000.
Far too often, the men and women who put on those uniforms and place themselves in harms way are mostly forgotten. Sure, we think about them on Veterans Day, Memorial day or perhaps when it is convenient to use them in some political argument, but then we ignore them when we see them in dire straights lying on a sidewalk or panhandling on a corner. I want to do more and hopefully you will too.
I know that times are tight for most people and even more so this time of year, but I ask that you give what you can. Even as little as $5 helps. If you don’t wish to give or feel that you can’t afford it, please at least consider sharing this with others that might. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this.