Veteran Hikes From Arizona To DC - - ABC13

Veteran Hikes From Arizona To DC


Reporter: James Gherardi l Videographer: Levi Washburn

Bedford, VA - He's walked more than 2,300 miles from Arizona. He's a Gulf War Veteran, and he's heading all the way to Washington D.C.

Steve Jacoby started his journey in February. And he's only 249 miles from finishing. He's on what he calls a truth mission. The former Gulf War Airman set out to expose wrongdoing in the Veteran's Hospital where he worked in Arizona. When he blew the whistle and tried to right the wrong, he says, he was forced to resign. Now, he says the only way to get his message across, is through walking.

"I listen to a radio when I walk," said Jacoby "and a trucker, his CB came over my radio and he said there goes Rambo."

But this is no Hollywood blockbuster. Steve Jacoby is serious about every step he takes.

"I left in February, I've walked about 2,300 miles, and I'm almost there," he said.

He says smuggling and embezzlement of millions of dollars, on behalf of executives at a Veteran's Hospital in Arizona where he worked, led him on his hike.

"I was told to keep my mouth shut, and I refused. And so I reported it to the inspector general and they did not investigate my claims, or did not collect any of my two crates worth of evidence," he said.

Jacoby himself is a disabled veteran, and knew that he had to have someone hear his side.

"Hopefully a jury will decide and hopefully these executives will at the very least lose their jobs, and hopefully do time in prison," he said.

Jacoby enlisted at just 17. His service left him with a knee injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"VA Healthcare is good, but could be better if these criminal executives are brought to justice," he said.

So, he walks, side streets, highways, bi-ways and interstates, "New Mexico, and Texas, and Oklahoma, what I did was walk the freeways," he said.

He stays almost anywhere, occasionally lucky enough to be taken in by those who appreciate his determination.

"I invited him into my home and told him we could put him up for the night, do his laundry, fix him a meal, and get him back on his way tomorrow," said Bedford resident, Donald Gillette who invited Jacoby to stay with him.

"I have the semis honking me, the civilians saluting me. I have people waving. I have people coming up to me all day long telling me, I'm fighting for them," said Jacoby.

Jacoby says once he gets to D.C. he plans on taking his fight to right to the V.A. Department.

He's funding his trip entirely on his own. If you'd like to help him, you can visit his website,

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