SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – The San Diego group, Cammies & Canines, is embarking on a long journey to bring awareness to and raise funds for homeless veterans.

Cammies & Canines focuses on helping homeless veterans get back on their feet by pairing them with four-legged friends to help them on their journey.

“What we are trying to do is we are trying to help these veterans because we have been there and we know what it feels like,” said Nate Schoemer, with Cammies & Canines.

The non-profit helps homeless veterans by housing them and then pairing them with rescued dogs in an intense training program. It was started by Marine veteran Kalani Cruetzburg, who was homeless for two years. “We are trying to pay it forward. I am trying to pay it forward.”

The canine side is led by Marine veteran and dog trainer Nate Schoemer. “A big part of how we help these veterans is not just the external by trying to help them find a job, but that internal portion – that peer-to-peer support.”

In order to keep their mission going, the pair is embarking on a 215 mile-hike. It stretches from north of Los Angeles back to Dulzura. They will travel 22 miles a day for the estimated 22 veterans that commit suicide each day.

On their back will 50 pounds of gear to symbolize that veterans are 50-percent more likely to commit suicide. Cruetzburg and Schoemer also hope their hike will help raise funds for a down payment on a ranch.

“I am going to put one foot in front of the other and continue walking until my legs fall off because there is so much at stake,” said Cruetzburg. 

You can support Cammies & Canines journey by visiting their website.