By LESLIE EIKLEBERRY
When one is walking across the United States, saving approximately 350 miles is a big deal!
Michael Gmur notified Salina Post late Wednesday morning that he is changing his route and plans to be in Salina on Thursday. Gmur, a former actor and Marine veteran is walking across the United States, from Portland, Maine, to San Diego, Calif., to raise awareness of and money for homeless veterans.
In an interview with Salina Post on Friday, Gmur said he had stopped for the night in Rossville in Shawnee County and was planning to walk along U.S. Highway 24 until he reached Colby and headed north to U.S. Highway 36 and on to Denver, Colo. He said he averages 25-35 miles per day.
Wednesday, however, Gmur told Salina Post that he was a bit northeast of Wells, Kan., in Ottawa County and planned to pass through Bennington, Kan., before reaching Salina on Thursday. From Salina, he plans to head to Albuquerque, N.M. The change in route will save him approximately 350 miles. His route from Salina will include Kansas Highway 140 to Kansas Highway 156 at Ellsworth and then to U.S. Highway 56 near Great Bend.
According to his biography on IMDb.com, Gmur joined the Marines in 2006 and was an engineer and platoon sergeant. In 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan with the Marine Special Operations Command. He left the Marine Corps in 2010 at the rank of sergeant. Gmur has an associate degree in kinesiology and communications and a bachelor of arts degree in theatre from California State University-Northridge. After graduating in 2015, he became a fulltime actor. See his list of credits here.
Gmur said he started the walk at Portland, Maine, on June 8, because being an actor in Los Angeles was no longer fulfilling. He explained that he had become an actor to make a lot of money that he could use to help homeless people and people in need of food. While he was able to make a living as an actor, the big money eluded him.
“I decided I needed to do something more and I decided to start with homeless veterans,” Gmur said.
“I believe that we all have an immense amount of potential that is waiting to be unlocked. Some of us have begun the process of unlocking that potential yet many of us let the noise of the outside world and our own inner critics prevent us from listening to our hearts and following the paths they are trying to lead us down. To Own Your Gangster is to Follow Your Heart, Face The Risks, Be open, and go for it,” he wrote on his website.
His website also includes a link to a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for homeless veterans and a link to Own Your Gangster t-shirts. Gmur said half of the t-shirt sales will go toward helping homeless veterans and the other half will be used to help other homeless people.
Gmur said he hopes to be in San Diego, Calif., by late November or early December.