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Dec 12, 2011 7:34 PM by David Ortiviz

Homeless man wants to help save America

Maybe you've seen him? A homeless man who's been living along the highway in Eastern Pueblo County for months. He refuses to stay at a shelter, lives off the charity of others and says he's on a mission to help save America.

Roy Gleiter has been homeless for the past 6 years. He says he's a Hurricane Katrina refugee. "Hurricane came in and we got out," said Gleiter.

The 53-year straps on a back harness to pull a wagon full of his belongings. "See the goal is to only worry about an inch. If you can move an inch at a time, you can go a mile eventually," said Gleiter.

He's on a trek from Washington D.C. to Washington State. Gleiter has been living on Highway 50 east of Pueblo for more than 6 months. He has two dogs and a woman inside his tent he calls "mom." Glieter says she's schizophrenic and bipolar and wouldn't talk to us, but he had a lot to say.

He started by telling us about his encounters with police. "3,219 have threatened to throw me in jail, put mom in a mental hospital, shoot my dogs or have them put to sleep for the criminal acts of sitting, standing and sleeping," said Gleiter.

The Pueblo County Sheriff's Office says he isn't breaking any laws by camping--he's on public land. Gleiter says he buries his waste with a shovel and doesn't litter, but he refused to stay at a shelter or take a shower. He says he hasn't had one in more than a year.

Gleiter calls his journey a protest march for the middle and upper class, a free economy and smaller, more focused government. "We're watching the death of Rome. We're watching the circus and the money control our politics," said Gleiter.

It's been a grueling adventure. He's pulled his wagon across thousands of miles and had to deal with harsh elements. However, he does get food and supplies from strangers who pass by.

Eventually he's destination is Kentucky where his family lives, but there's a long road ahead. "To get my honor back I got to make my life better for my kids and my grandkids, that means I got to change the country," said Gleiter.

Gleiter says he plans to stay in Pueblo County until spring.

 

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