NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — At 65, retired teacher Richard Albero from New Jersey found himself asking the big questions: “What’s it all about? Why am I here? What have I done?”

“As I said to one perseon, I think it’s like finding your soul,” Albero told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams. “What the next step is after that I don’t know.”

His soul searching led him on an odyssey, a 1,200-mile trek on foot from Florida to New York to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit group that helps severely injured service members.

“The pain and sacrifices (service members go through), you just want to pay them back in some small way,” Albero said. “That’s why when these blisters start hurting, I just say, ‘How can you be complaining?'”

The former Naval Reserve officer averages 17 to 20 miles per day. As of Monday morning, he was in North Carolina, a little more than halfway through his journey.

MORE: Richard’s Yankees Walk Of Honor

“I have to soak my feet in the morning in Epsom salt, and then I have this cream that I put on,” Albero said. “And I, of course, do a lot of stretching. And then at lunchtime, one of my support drivers stops by and brings me lunch. I soak my feet in an ice bucket.”

Albero is also walking in memory of his nephew Gary Albero, who was killed in the World Trade Center. They used to go to Yankees games together.

The team backs the march.

“Each mile is named after a different Yankee players,” Albero said. “I included every Yankee that ever played since 1913, when they started being called the New York Yankees.”

The march began at Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees’ spring training home, and will end at Yankee Stadium.

“This isn’t like being a hero or any of that,” Albero said. “This is just like being an example that people can find what’s good in themselves and share it with the rest of the people that are on this planet.”


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