NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — An Iraq War veteran on a 7,000 mile walk across America to help military families made it to the Big Apple Wednesday.

Troy Yocum was in Iraq when a fellow soldier emailed to say he was in deep financial trouble.

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“He got very depressed, very suicidal and I said to myself when I return home from Iraq, I’m going to do something not only to help my friend, but to help all of these military families who are struggling,” Yocum said.

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A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Yocum started walking on April 17, 2010, hit California, then turned around and headed east. Over the past 14 months, he’s worn down eight pairs of hiking boots, suffered kidney stones, a neck strain, countless blisters and had his car broken into.

“No matter what, people came out to help us,” Yocum said.

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“It has been very much a Forrest Gump movement across America, with thousands of people walking with me,” he said. “It’s all worth it so that we can help as many military families as possible.”

Troy Yocum walking into New York City on June 15, 2011 (credit: Hike for Our Heroes/Facebook)

Yocum stopped in Times Square where Modell’s Sporting Goods pledged a fundraising effort to get Yocum to his $5 million goal.

“We’ve now helped over 50 families. We’re going to be able to help another 150 families over the next couple of months,” he said.

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