The two veterans — Kalani Creutzburg and Nate Shoemer — are walking to draw attention to their charity and to raise the money they say is needed to buy the land on which it sits.
Cammies & Canines, their non-profit organization, sits on a 289-acre ranch in a valley in Dulzura. The ranch is a sanctuary for homeless veterans and for rescued dogs being readied for adoption and trained for service.
The pair are walking 22 miles per day, from Sept.1-Sept. 11, to highlight the military and veteran suicides the United States faces every day, as September is Suicide Awareness Month.
Creutzburg and Shoemer each will carry 50-pound packs to symbolize the emotional load many veterans carry with them. They will be updating their progress on the organization’s Facebook page and via Facebook Live.
While the non-profit works with people and animals alike, Creutzburg, who founded the organization, said empowering veterans to get off the street was its first mission.
The expansive grounds, he said, have “healing power.”
“We focus on the internal, rather than the external,” Creutzburg said. “We try to dig deeper into the heart and soul of a person and figure out what got you to be homeless in the first place.”
Creutzburg, a former major in the Marines, said he had experienced homelessness himself and understood how it could trap someone.
“I was homeless overnight because of a divorce,” he said. “I’m a Marine Corps major. I had no idea being homeless was in the realm of possibility for me.”