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Former Marine walks for a cause, causes controversy

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POSTED: Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 4:12pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 1:46pm

A former marine is fighting back tonight after dealing with a lot of backlash.

Mac McQuowen wants to raise awareness for the homeless veterans in our country. So he decided to walk to every state capitol across the country to spread his message, but people are questioning his motives.
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McQuown has spent more than two years living on the streets.

"Because I've been homeless myself, I need to live as much like them as I can," McQuown. "So when I'm able to and it's not against the city ordinance, I camp out outside."

He's trying to bring awareness to what he said is a huge problem in our country... homelessness.

"I come from a strong military family. I'm a veteran myself. I have many veteran friends, and that didn't sit very well with me," McQuown said. "So I wanted to do something to bring awareness back to veterans."

It's not his cause, but his record that's causing a lot of conflict. There's a Facebook page that claims McQuown is a fraud, a con-artist and a dishonorable veteran.

"In the beginning, I was defensive. I defended myself against every comment that came at me," McQuown responded.

McQuown does not shy away from the questions or his mistakes.

"In 1988, I was discharged from my second term in the Marine Corps, with an other than honorable discharge," McQuown said. "I made a mistake. Yes, I was stupid. It was idiotic. There's no excuse for it. That was 25 years ago. I've turned my life around since then."

Critics said he's not giving the money he gets from donations straight to the homeless.

"I can't solicit for funds. That's illegal," McQuown said. "However, if somebody walks up to me and says 'Mac, I saw your interview on Fox, I want to help give to the homeless, here's X amount of money.' Then, I didn't solicit for it. It goes to the homeless shelter."

But with all the criticism, he does have people who believe in him, like Sunny Somershine.

"The other gentleman that was here who was spouting off and saying, basically, that he was a fraud is irrelevant to me because look what it just did right now. It created a discussion," Somershine said. "If it helps one person, that's all I care about."

Even with all the backlash, McQuown's still trekking. His next stop is Austin, Texas.   

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I say to those apposing him if you're so sure this man is a fake.go walk along side him and tough it out with him. BUT...those of us who are lily white and pure throw the first stone You know if he kept it all, that part doesn't bother me at all. At His Age..he needs comfortable beds too. However, I think it would be nice if you quit throwing stones and got behind him for the simple fact ....he is caring for the men and women living on the street.WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR THEM? Rev. J. Guy

Leonard is a disgrace. He only does the bare minimum to help vets. Check out his own webpage. He lists things like, "Gave a homeless guy a bottle of my Gatorade". Seriously? He's collecting thousands and donating what and to who? If he does donate, it's when it's a good photo op so that he can brag about it. He doesn't care about America's homeless vets, he's riding across America on their backs for pete's sake!! Please do an investigative piece. He's a fraud!!

Sorry, didn't realize the first one had posted. Other notable things he's done to help America's homeless, "Man thank you for just talking with me." & "Thank you for the McDonalds lunch." He lists 3 things in 2011, 7 in 2012 & 4 things total in all of 2013. The only thing he lists for 2014 so far is the money he donated to Ravens House but then he got a refund so it doesn't really count, does it? That's not even one little thing per month & he's collecting $THOUSANDS$ in goods, hotels, services.

Mac, there's NO honor in what you are doing! You're doing America's homeless veterans more harm than good. You're no longer walking to 50 capitols, you're riding on the backs of those who have served this country with honor & selflessness. You should be ashamed.

Channel 33, please do a followup & ask Mac about the thousands of dollars he's collected over the past three years of this scam walk. WHERE IS IT? Did you look at what he lists on his website? "I gave vet bottle of Gatorade". Pitiful!

So he skirts the law with if someone hands it to me he isn't soliciting the money then show where it goes? How about doing that show where the money you have been given has gone bet none were it should or where he says it goes.

We were first alerted to him in Sept. of 2013. We caught him embellishing his Service Record on day one. The screen saves that are posted on his Blog of Shame came from his Web site & Together we Served account . We were the ones who submitted for the FOIA that is listed. He took a plea bargain with the Marine Corps to keep from being charged with a felony and Bad Conduct Discharge. http://scotty-stolenvaloroffendersexposed.blogspot.com/2013/09/leonard-d...

We were first alerted to him in Sept. of 2013. We caught him embellishing his Service Record on day one. The screen saves that are posted on his Blog of Shame came from his Web site & Together we Served account . We were the ones who submitted for the FOIA that is listed. He took a plea bargain with the Marine Corps to keep from being charged with a felony and Bad Conduct Discharge. http://scotty-stolenvaloroffendersexposed.blogspot.com/2013/09/leonard-d...

This person was in Mississippi from Sept - October 2013 and January 2014 for about 3 weeks. Not once did he donate to ANY homeless shelter nor any Homeless person. He stayed in a motel in Meridian for 3 weeks instead of walking and moving on. He would walk 4-5 miles and get a ride back to hotel then ride to where he stopped walking and back and forth... Is that honorable. He claimed he had a dishonorable discharge and that he was court martialed for being AWOL. Now the story changes.

Thank you Foxx 33 for taking the time to come out today to cover Our story. I am Honored to have reached Our 10th capital. It is Because of the Love, Respect, Inspiration and Encouragement of SO Many that this walk has been the incredible success that it has been. We still have thousands of miles to go. More challenges & obstacles await us . With the Love & Blessings of the Good Lord and Our family & Friends we will prevail. God is GREAT !!!

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