Follow the Route Across America


They say a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. So how about a journey of 2,860 miles?

The journey starts in Portland, Oregon on April 15th and ends in Poughkeepsie, New York around August 23rd. Want to join the adventure? Check out the itinerary below to see if Commander Tom's walk is close to your hometown! Dates are subject to change, of course. And starting April 15th, EVERYONE can follow along on our VetZero Facebook page at for regular updates from Tom on the road. 

April 15                       PORTLAND OR

April 19                        MADRAS OR

April 21                        PRINEVILLE OR

April 26                        HINES OR

May 1                           VALE OR

May 2                           NYSSA OR

May 3                           CALDWELL ID

May 5                           BOISE ID

May 7                           MOUNTAIN HOME ID

May 16                         AMERICAN FALLS ID

May 17                         POCATELLO ID

May 22                         FISH HAVEN ID

May 26                         FONTENELLE WY

June 1                           JEFFERY CITY WY

June 7                          CASPER WY

June 9                          DOUGLAS WY

June 14                        CRAWFORD NE

June 21                        VALENTINE NE

June 27                        O'NEILL NE

June 30                        SIOUX CITY IA

July 8                            IOWA FALLS IA

July 10                          WATERLOO IA

July 15                          DUBUQUE IA

July 20                          BELOIT WI

July 22                          WAUKESHA WI

July 23                          MILWAUKEE WI

July 26                          GRAND RAPIDS MI

August 1                      FLINT MI

August 4                      DETROIT MI

August 8                      BUFFALO NY

August 9                      BATAVIA NY

August 12                   CANANDAIGUA NY

August 15                   ITHACA NY

August 23                  POUGHKEEPSIE NY

Everyone Can Share the Adventure on Facebook!

Starting April 15th, visit the VetZero Facebook page every day this summer at for regular updates, photos and stories from Tom on the open road!


Meet the "Big Guy in a Funny Hat"

The VetZero Story

Tom Zurhellen has only been Commander at Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 170 in Poughkeepsie for about a year ... but it hasn't taken him long to realize there's a real need in our community for support of local veterans and their families. Almost every day he talks to vets who need help and aren't sure where to find it.

Seeing this need, the VFW tried to make a difference, alone. In this past year alone, the Poughkeepsie VFW has donated over 500 backpacks full of essential items to our local homeless, and also hosted a series of summer picnics at the Post for veterans in need. Commander Tom spent so much time on the streets and shelters of Poughkeepsie wearing his VFW cap, he's known simply to local folks as "The Big Guy In a Funny Hat." 

Still, it wasn't enough. We learned that we couldn't do it alone. 

That's why we created VetZero, our official veteran service project. Working with our community partners like Hudson River Housing and the Vet 2 Vet program, we're committed to making sure every veteran can connect with the vital resources they need. Our goal is ZERO: zero veteran suicide and zero veteran homelessness in our community, and hopefully someday, in our country.

But we can't do it without your help! Please consider supporting "The Big Guy In a Funny Hat" and the whole VetZero team by visiting our Go Fund Me page at: and help us keep that promise to our returning heroes.

Thank you!

Contact Us

Find out more

Tommy is Walking the Walk for Veterans

Check out the Official Teaser Trailer for the VetZero Walk Across America Happening this Summer!