RANDOLPH, N.J. (PIX11) – After 143 days, dozens of States and thousands of miles, Tommy Pasquale is back home, and he has something no one can ever take away from him: a solo walk across the United States.
After sleeping in tents, enduring scorching heat and even sub-zero conditions, the 25-year-old is happy to be home.
“Towards the end, I was still enjoying the journey, but it got a little tedious,” said Tommy Pasquale. “I thought, ‘alright, it’s time to get home and see everybody and get back to normal.'”
The journey ended over the weekend in Venice Beach, California. His family, who sent him off on his trek from Manasquan in September, awaited him.
Tommy set out to raise awareness for homeless vets. At the end of his journey, he raised nearly $50,000 for the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
“Every single state I went to, I spoke to people and veterans especially, who are dealing with homelessness, whether it was for a few months, for a few years, when they got home or are unfortunately still dealing with it,” said Tommy Pasquale. “Obviously, it is a problem and I saw it firsthand walking across the country.”
“Even though he was the one taking the journey, it was a bit of a journey for us as well,” said Tommy’s father, Peter Pasquale, who said he called every night to let them know he was okay and had a safe place to sleep. “I think for all of us, we are happy for him and relieved.”
“However slow you want to go, or however fast you want to go, you just got to believe in yourself and realize that you can do it,” said Tommy Pasquale.
Tommy says he is looking forward to staying in New Jersey for a while, getting back into the workforce, and, next, hopefully, authoring a book so that his story can inspire others.