Hawaii Marine travels across country with no money to raise awar - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii Marine travels across country with no money to raise awareness about veteran homelessness

Photo Courtesy: Andrew Lai Photo Courtesy: Andrew Lai
Photo Courtesy: Andrew Lai Photo Courtesy: Andrew Lai
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (HawaiiNewsNow) -

By Kristine Tofte

U.S. Marine Jay Michael Auwae is traveling from San Diego to New York, and plans to arrive at his destination by Veteran's Day.

That's not so uncommon.

What is uncommon is that Auwae, 45, is traveling with only his military ID, his driver's license and a backpack with a thick jacket, a beanie, and a hat that says "Hawaiian no fear."

He has no money with him and he is relying on the help of friends, family and strangers to get to his destination.

Those close to Auwae thought he was crazy when he told them his plan to travel across country -- just 24 hours before he set off.

Auwae, originally from Hilo, joined the Marine Corps in 1988 and is currently stationed in San Diego. After 27 years as a Marine, he is ready to retire. But before he takes off his uniform, he wanted to travel across the country to bring awareness to the plight of homeless veterans.

Auwae says he is grateful that his journey has allowed him to show gratitude and pay respect to those who have sacrificed.

He said while he can't house homeless veterans, he can thank for their service.

"That's all I say and give them a meal," he said. "I cannot give them one house but just one hug, just one shake, just one aloha spirit you know."

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