Cross-Country Cycling Tour Highlights the Plight of Homeless Vets and
Harold Palmquist was homeless. He and his best gal Daisy were living in his taxi before they eventually had no shelter at all. He tried to find a place for him and Daisy to stay in while he got back on his feet, but not one allowed him to bring Daisy. Harold and Daisy, who is ten-years-old, have been together since she was only a few months old.
True to the heroic loyalty he exhibited as a military service member, he refused to leave Daisy.
Luckily, however, he found the organization Veterans and Their Pets, who offered both Palmquist and Daisy a place to call home while he got their lives back in order.
Humbled by the organization’s mission to help vets and their pets stay together during the tough times, Harold realized that this was another mission he could serve well in. He once again chose to stand up for fellow country men to raise awareness about this very sad situation.
Over 40,000 veterans call themselves homeless, and many have pets as their only constant friends. I had the pleasure of speaking to Harold, who says that he is trying to prove that given the choice of shelter or staying with their pets, vets will always remain loyal to their faithful friend, even sacrificing their own creature comforts. Because of this, more needs to be done to fulfill promises he believes vets like himself were made, but never had come to fruition, and he wants to make that change happen for his fellow veterans.
Last year, he and Daisy biked with his homemade dog trailer from Los Angeles, California, and made it all the way to the east coast, meeting people along the way and bringing attention to the need to help our vets and their pets. He is currently in Georgia, where he just recently did some volunteer work with the VFW in Savannah.
He and Daisy plan to trek back over 5,000 miles through the course of the next year, taking the northern route of the U.S. and looking to touch states they’ve not touched yet to show how so many of our brave veterans are living today and to show us how we can help them. Harold raises money for Veterans and Their Pets to keep veterans together with their faithful companions, and you can donate to his awareness fund, which helps him do so. You can also help by donating to the Veterans and Their Pets site, or by simply sharing Harold’s story of how easy it can be to make such a big difference in the lives of veterans and their pets.
I get the privilege of writing about a lot of amazing people and their pets. Talking with Harold and hearing his voice choke up as he expressed gratitude for what Veterans and Their Pets did for him, and does for so many others across the country made me choke up a bit with pride and gratitude as well. I’m excited to watch Harold and Daisy this year, and you can too by following him on his blog, or on his Facebook page, Tour De Paclantic.
More by Lori Ennis