How I Spent My Fourth of July

Note: This article was submitted by Valerie Stallbaumer, L.Ac., Story Medical Clinic Natural Health

After reading in the newspaper about William Shuttleworth and his plans to walk across the US, I thought I ought to meet up with him when he came through the Midwest and bring some food and offer therapies he might need by then.

William Shuttleworth is an Air Force veteran and retired educator.  During his travels after retirement, he met many homeless vets and others who were not getting the health care they needed.  He decided to walk from Massachusetts to California with only a backpack of supplies that had a sign on the back—Vets Don’t Forget Vets. Ask Me.

He either purchases food along the way or receives donations, and sleeps in his tent or in safe places offered to him.  I was surprised to learn that despite being 72, he averages walking about 30 miles a day.  On his website, I saw when he left Illinois and then Missouri. He was making good time, after leaving his home in mid-May and getting to Kansas by the end of June.  

After contacting him, we agreed where to meet.  I brought plenty of food (he prefers vegetarian) and scouted for a picnic area when I arrived in Belleville, KS early on July 4.  We shared a brunch, evening meal and early breakfast the next day before he took off on his journey again.  On the 4th of July, he met and had lunch with local veterans, was given a tour of the town, watched the races on the special high banks track the town is known for and was given a hotel room for the night. 

He really is in good shape and we didn’t need to do any of the therapies, though he told me that he was enthused about acupuncture.  He had treatments in the past that helped him.

Along the way, he welcomes conversations, records his experiences and posts his thoughts on social media.  To learn more about William’s efforts to help veterans through the donations he accepts and to follow his progress, see his website: