Professional photographer and Vietnam vet Jerry Nelson plans to set off on a cross-country bicycle ride on March 19 to raise money and awareness for Homeless vets.
He doesn't have a support team or sponsors, he smokes regularly and he had open-heart surgery just a year ago, but the 54-year-old is ready to hit the road to spread his message, the Mountain Xpress reports.
The Vietnam veteran, who served as a cryptologic technician in the Navy from 1972 to '84, says he also hopes to raise money for national organizations that work with homeless vets. Nelson credits the Veterans Administration with providing him with resources to keep him from being homeless, but he worries about others who may not seek out that help.
"This story's not about this big ol' boy," Nelson says. "It's about the veterans coming back that don't have a place to live. I've got a soft spot for them."
Nelson hopes to raise $10,000 for the Asheville Homeless Network. He completed a similar trip in 2008 to raise cash for the National Coalition of Homeless Veterans.