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New Jersey man is walking across USA for ‘unacceptable’ number of homeless veterans

Source image: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/new-jersey-man-walks-across-usa-unacceptable-number-homeless-veterans

A New Jersey man is walking across the country for a very good cause.

Tommy Pasquale of Randolph, New Jersey, is on a mission to trek all the way to Venice Beach, California, from New Jersey to raise money for the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

The 24-year-old left Brielle Road Beach in Manasquan, New Jersey, on Sept. 19, 2022, with the goal of reaching the Pacific Ocean by April 2023.

Pasquale said that the 38,000 veterans who go to sleep homeless across the United States is an “unacceptable” number — especially in a country “as great as the United States.”

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“I think it’s not too much to ask that when they get home, they have a good place to live and rest their hat at the end of the day,” he said.

Pasquale revealed to Fox News Digital that his mission is a journey “from sea to shining sea” in true American fashion.

Tommy Pasquale is on a mission to walk from Manasquan, New Jersey, to Venice Beach, California, to raise money for America's homeless veterans.

Tommy Pasquale is on a mission to walk from Manasquan, New Jersey, to Venice Beach, California, to raise money for America’s homeless veterans.
(Tommy Pasquale)

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, when the world was forced into lockdown, Pasquale said that it’s been a dream of his to “do something crazy” such as walk across the country.

“I decided if there’s ever a point where I’m going to do it, the time is now when I’m young, I’m strong and I’m healthy,” he said.

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“So, I went for it and I’m glad I did, although it’s definitely a little crazy.”

Pasquale quit his job — he worked in software sales in New York City. He also sold his car, using the money he’d saved to take the trip.

Tommy Pasquale of Randolph, New Jersey, walks with his cart as he leaves Manasquan, New Jersey on Sept. 19, 2022.

Tommy Pasquale of Randolph, New Jersey, walks with his cart as he leaves Manasquan, New Jersey on Sept. 19, 2022.
(Tommy Pasquale)

“It should last me until I get there,” he said. “But currently, I have no income.”

Pasquale decided to pair the cross-country walk with the “good cause” of fighting veteran homelessness. He has several veterans and active-duty military in his own circle.

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“I’ve always been passionate about helping out veterans in any way I can because they’ve given so much to us,” he said.

Pasquale is calling the journey “Tommy Walks America” — and he’s been keeping his followers in the loop through social media.

Before the trip, Pasquale trained by walking every day. Although he was fit enough for the job, he realized the journey would be physically and mentally tough.

“I knew it was going to be challenging,” he said. “I’m not quite sure if I realized how challenging it was going to be until I got out here.”

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“I was definitely nervous. I was excited, cautiously optimistic — but until you go out there and take the first step and start doing it, it’s all unknown.”

He added, “Sometimes you just got to send it.”

Tommy Pasquale takes a final walk on one of his "favorite beaches" in New Jersey before leaving for his cross-country trek on Sept. 19, 2022.

Tommy Pasquale takes a final walk on one of his “favorite beaches” in New Jersey before leaving for his cross-country trek on Sept. 19, 2022.
(Tommy Pasquale)

Pasquale said he walks at least 20 miles each day, following county highways and small back roads, while pushing a shopping cart full of essentials such as clothes, non-perishable food, toiletries, water, a journal, books and chargers.

The traveler spends most nights in a tent with a sleeping bag that he’s brought along with him.

But he’s been able to bunk with friends, too — and even people he’s met along the way — who live en route. 

Since traveling about 925 miles to Nashville, Pasquale revealed that his trusty pairs of New Balance and HOKA sneakers are just about spent.

Tommy Pasquale walks down the street in Manasquan, New Jersey, on Sept. 19, 2022.

Tommy Pasquale walks down the street in Manasquan, New Jersey, on Sept. 19, 2022.
(Tommy Pasquale)

“They have served their purpose,” he said. “Definitely need some new sneakers now.”

Pasquale has received “a lot of support” so far from people he knows, as well as from strangers, he said — including country music star Parker McCollum, who offered Pasquale tickets to the Country Music Awards while he was in Music City on Nov. 9.

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“Any time I get to stop and see something cool or stop in a cool city like Nashville, I definitely want to take my time and enjoy it,” he said.

While Pasquale is a third of the way through his journey as of right now, he revealed that he’s learned a lot about himself and the world around him, especially in a nation that seems so divided.

Twenty-four-year-old Tommy Pasquale poses with his new cart — after the first cart broke — filled with essentials for his walk across the U.S. on day six of the trip in Pennsylvania.

Twenty-four-year-old Tommy Pasquale poses with his new cart — after the first cart broke — filled with essentials for his walk across the U.S. on day six of the trip in Pennsylvania.
(Tommy Pasquale)

“There are so many good people that are out there still — like, genuine, good people,” he said.

“At the end of the day, most Americans just want to help out their fellow Americans any way they can, and I think it’s a pretty special thing.”

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He also said, “Different parts of this country are so different, but people are genuine wherever you go.”

Tommy Pasquale stops at American Legion Post 330 in Culpeper, Virginia, as he walks across America on behalf of America's homeless veterans.

Tommy Pasquale stops at American Legion Post 330 in Culpeper, Virginia, as he walks across America on behalf of America’s homeless veterans.
(Tommy Pasquale)

Pasquale’s goal is to raise $100,000 for the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, but he believes he’ll be able to raise much more.

“I don’t think it’s out of the question to think that we could raise $1 million,” he said.

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He added, “Any time you get the chance to meet a veteran, make sure you shake their hand and give them a hardy ‘thank you’ for what they do for this country.”

Pasquale said that 100% of all donations he receives will go to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

Pasquale added that he plans to fly back home to New Jersey once he makes it to his final destination in California.

“When I get home, I might park it on the couch and not take any steps for about a month,” he said, laughing.

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Donations can be made at GoFundMe and the Tommy Walks America info page at linktr.ee/tommy_pasquale.

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/lifestyle/new-jersey-man-walks-across-usa-unacceptable-number-homeless-veterans

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On this day in history, Feb. 2, 1913, Grand Central Terminal opens in NYC, world’s largest train station

A reimagined and masterful Grand Central Terminal brought jaw-dropping opulence to the heart of New York City after 10 years of reconstruction when it opened on this day in history, Feb. 2, 1913. 

Its stately Beaux Art design, soaring celestial ceiling, shopping and dining concourses, scores of rail and subway lines, mysterious “whispering walls” and central location in the heart of America’s biggest city make Grand Central a tourist attraction — as well as a vital transportation hub.

“There are a lot of great train stations in the world. There is nothing, nothing like Grand Central,” Greg Young, co-host and producer of “The Bowery Boys” podcast, a popular chronicle of New York City history, told Fox News Digital. 

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“It took everyone’s breath away when it opened.”

It still does. An estimated 150,000 gawkers walked through Grand Central for its opening in 1913 — a mere fraction of the nearly 400,000 people, about the population of New Orleans, who now use the terminal each day. 

Excavation for Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA, Detroit Publishing Company, 1908. 

Excavation for Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA, Detroit Publishing Company, 1908. 
(Photo by: GHI/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Grand Central is, among many other claims to fame befitting its boisterous name, the largest train station in the world by area (49 acres) and by train services (40 platforms, 67 tracks), according to numerous sources. 

The terminal handles 768 commuter train arrivals and departures each day, while subway trains make 2,400 stops at Grand Central each day, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). 

“Grand Central took everyone’s breath away when it opened.” — Greg Young, “The Bowery Boys” podcast

And yet it continues to grow to serve the city, and by proxy serve the nation. 

Grand Central Madison, a massive expansion that was 16 years in the making, opened on January 25. It adds 16 acres and eight lines of the Long Island Railroad to the Grand Central complex, deep underneath the existing network of rail tracks — about 140 feet below street level. 

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The new concourse will handle an additional 296 daily arrivals and departures at full service. 

“The Grand Central Terminal is not only a station, it is a monument, a civic center, or, if one will, a city,” The New York Times declared on Feb. 3, 1913, the day after it opened.

Grand Central Madison opened at Grand Central Terminal in New York City on Jan. 25, 2023, greatly expanding access to Long Island for the world's largest train station. 

Grand Central Madison opened at Grand Central Terminal in New York City on Jan. 25, 2023, greatly expanding access to Long Island for the world’s largest train station. 
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

“Without exception, it is not only the greatest station in the United States, but the greatest station, of any type, in the world.”

The media outlet had dubbed the previous Grand Central “a cruel disgrace” in 1899, as momentum grew to give a city bursting at its seams a new world-class transportation hub.

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The original Grand Central Depot was built in 1871 by railroad titan Cornelius Vanderbilt. It was replaced in 1899 by a much larger but widely panned Grand Central Terminal.

Construction began in 1903 on the current landmark. 

A spectacular new city skyline rose around the new Grand Central after it opened in 1913. 

A spectacular new skyline sprouted up around Grand Central Terminal after it opened in 1913, including the Chrysler Building next door in 1930. It was the tallest building in the world at the time.

A spectacular new skyline sprouted up around Grand Central Terminal after it opened in 1913, including the Chrysler Building next door in 1930. It was the tallest building in the world at the time.
(Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

The Chrysler Building was the tallest structure in the world when it opened to the immediate east of Grand Central in 1930.

New skyscraper One Vanderbilt, which opened in 2020, towers over the terminal’s west entrance. 

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At 1,401 feet tall, One Vanderbilt is the fourth tallest building in New York City, soaring 150 feet higher than the world-famous Empire State Building. 

Its four-story observatory, a popular new tourist attraction, is accessible through Grand Central.

The majestic terminal also paved the way, quite literally, for one of America’s most lavish thoroughfares. 

Park Avenue sits above what were once open-air tracks that formed “a disgusting little gash” polluted by steam engines in the middle of Manhattan, said Young of “The Bowery Boys” podcast. 

Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan opened in 1913 just 30 years after railroads pioneered the creation of time zones.

Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan opened in 1913 just 30 years after railroads pioneered the creation of time zones.
(Kerry J. Byrne/Fox News Digital)

The advent of electric trains in the late 1800s made it possible to close the gash and put the entire infrastructure of Grand Central underground. 

Park Avenue and its stately high rises for New York City’s nouveau riche covered up the eyesore. 

The terminal occupies a trophy location on the east side of Midtown Manhattan between 42nd and 45th Streets. Park Avenue is actually elevated between those cross streets to wrap around the east and west sides of the terminal. 

“Jackie Kennedy Onassis led an effort to gain landmark status for the terminal in the 1970s – taking the fight all the way to the Supreme Court.”

Grand Central had fallen into filth and disrepair again in the 1970s when a developer proposed knocking down the main concourse and replacing it with a skyscraper. 

Jackie Kennedy Onassis led an effort to gain landmark status for the terminal – taking the fight all the way to the Supreme Court.

Sunlight in Grand Central, 1937. 

Sunlight in Grand Central, 1937. 
(Photo by ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

The high court ruled in favor of New York City in 1978, allowing it to restrict development in the name of historical preservation. 

“Grand Central Terminal stands as a universal symbol between New York City’s past and present,” Onassis is often quoted saying.

It is properly known as Grand Central Terminal — not station, as it is commonly called.

Visitors also marvel at the whispering walls beneath the main concourse where visitors can chat with each quietly over great distances, as sound travels up the vaulted ceiling. 

Commuter train routes to upstate New York, Long Island and Connecticut begin and terminate at Grand Central. None pass through.

Grand Central does serve as a station, however, for five New York City subway lines that pass deep beneath it — making for an extraordinary network of tracks on multiple levels, which only grew more complex with the opening last week of Grand Central Madison.  

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One of those subway lines, the S (shuttle) train, stops only at Times Square about four blocks west; then it makes the return trip two minutes away to Grand Central. The shuttle runs back and forth between the two Midtown hubs 18 hours a day.

Details of the facade of Grand Central Terminal on June 15, 2012, in New York City. 

Details of the facade of Grand Central Terminal on June 15, 2012, in New York City. 
(Victor Fraile/Corbis via Getty Images)

Grand Central’s decorative highlights include its elaborate celestial ceiling of with more than 2,500 stars, with astrological constellations such as Aquarius and Cancer, set in gold against a turquoise backdrop. 

Visitors also marvel at the whispering walls beneath the main concourse where visitors can chat with each quietly over great distances as sound travels up the vaulted ceiling; and at Grand Central’s signature 14-foot central Tiffany clock. 

It was the world’s largest Tiffany clock in 1914 when it was installed.  

“Grand Central Terminal is a story of great engineering, survival and rebirth,” says the Grand Central Terminal website, operated by Metro-North Railroad, which serves New York and Connecticut. 

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Adds “Bowery Boys” co-host Young, “Grand Central symbolized New York City coming out of the Gilded Age as this global supercity of incredible wealth, and the capital city in many ways of the United States.”

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World’s largest, rarest ocean stingrays spotted and tagged in Mozambique

For the first time in scientific history, the wild smalleye stingray has been located and tagged by researchers.

The smalleye species is known for being the world’s largest and rarest marine stingray — and was finally spotted in Mozambique.

National Geographic explorer and ray expert Andrea Marshall set out off the coast of the Bazaruto Archipelago in search of the rare stingray.

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After weeks of looking, Marshall spotted a smalleye in some shallow water, National Geographic (NatGeo) reported.

She was able to dive in after it and touched it with a six-foot-long pole to extract a small skin sample from its underside.

Shown above, a smalleye stingray visits a cleaning station on a coral reef, where fish and other invertebrates clean bigger animals of parasites.

Shown above, a smalleye stingray visits a cleaning station on a coral reef, where fish and other invertebrates clean bigger animals of parasites.
(Andrea Marshall)

The stingray stayed calm, which was good news for Marshall.

Smalleyes have a lethal stinging spine the length of a human forearm.

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One wrong move “would put us in mortal danger,” Marshall told NatGeo.

Marshall is also the founder of the Mozambique-based Marine Megafauna Foundation.

The fish, native to the Pacific Ocean, can grow up to 10 feet long and eight feet wide.

Smalleye stingrays, also known as Megatrygon microps, can measure 10 feet in length and over 8 feet in width, according to NatGeo.

Smalleye stingrays, also known as Megatrygon microps, can measure 10 feet in length and over 8 feet in width, according to NatGeo.
(Ben Scott/National Geographic)

The species earned the name “smalleyes” for their little raisin-sized eyes, said NatGeo.

Since they’re so rarely spotted, smalleyes are likely a critically endangered species, that publication also said.

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Marshall and her colleagues spent the following months diving at dawn for other smalleyes along the Mozambican coast.

The team tagged 11 smalleyes using both acoustic and satellite tags, in order to track long-distance travel and fine-scale movements.

Smalleye stingers can reach the size of a human forearm, said NatGeo.

Smalleye stingers can reach the size of a human forearm, said NatGeo.
(Andrea Marshall)

Although the mission was a success, Marshall shared with NatGeo that she and her team encountered a few close calls.

This includes learning how the massive stingray can raise its stinger over its back and swing it around, much like a scorpion.

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Preliminary data shows that the stingray can dive more than 650 feet deep and swim hundreds of miles in a day, according to Marshall.

Researchers hope that tagging these stingrays will provide an answer to why they travel as far as they do.

Smalleye stingrays may look intimidating, but they're not aggressive and will only sting if provoked, Marshall said, as NatGeo reported.

Smalleye stingrays may look intimidating, but they’re not aggressive and will only sting if provoked, Marshall said, as NatGeo reported.
(Andrea Marshall)

The stingray’s diving depth could explain its extremely small eyes, since vision isn’t as crucial down in the darkness, Marshall said.

The tags reportedly revealed that the stingrays hang out near the reefs at night, which could mean they feed at dawn and dusk.

Many questions remain regarding the behavior of smalleye stingrays; the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the species as “data deficient.”

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Marshall’s goal is to gather enough information to lead to better protections for smalleyes, NatGeo notes.

Anyone wanting more detail can visit nationalgeographic.com.

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Groundhog Day quiz! How well do you know the facts about this unique day?

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