INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. — Al Shelley, 64, is walking the length of the United States in search of understanding what happened to the country he loves. The Marine Corps veteran and father of five adult children started at the U.S.-Canada border in International Falls, MN in early August making his way to Southern Minnesota thus far.
“Have we lost our way?” said Shelley on his website. “Have we forgotten what made us the greatest nation in history? I intend to get some answers, and what better place to start than in the middle of our country along the great Mississippi River.”
Shelley intended to meet people, log his journey online and raise money for children who have lost parents, but just into the adventure he began raising money for causes he sees locally along the way. The first was a Wadena Township housefire that left three children without their parents. Information on how to donate to the family is listed on Shelley’s site.
There is another void in Shelley’s life. He lost his wife five years ago. It’s a pain that has driven him to "go." Go explore, go learn, go meet people with a focus on sharing and giving back along the way.
Here’s our conversation with Shelley during his brief stay in Lake City, MN: