Posted: Mar 18, 2014 6:27 PM by Rob Krieger
Updated: Mar 18, 2014 6:27 PM
BATON ROUGE - As Mac McQuown walked to the steps of Capitol today, he expected to meet some friends, show his patriotism, and raise awareness about homeless veterans, but what he got was a confrontation with an angry veteran.
"He's a fraud," said the man who did not want to be named, "He's asking for money from citizens to fund his walk, he's been walking for 2 and half years at donation's expense, basically he's on a tour of the country."
McQuown has walked the country for the past 2 and a half years, trying to visit every state capitol in hopes of spreading awareness about homeless veterans. The one time Marine told News 2 he's seen ten capitols in that time and raised a total of $8,000.
Some veterans, though, think he isn't representing himself properly and instead using gifts and the kindness of strangers to freeload across America.
"He's using it to basically fund his way around the country for a little vacation for himself, we haven't seen any record, he hasn't produced any records, he's been asked several times to produce records of where this money is going and he hasn't done anything of the sort," said LCpl. Bill Scepkowski, a former marine who has investigated McQuown's history and claims.
"It's all speculation and accusations it's not true," said McQuown. "My phone number is everywhere, don't you think I'd be a bit more discreet, I'm not a con artist, I've got nothing to hide because I've done nothing wrong."
Even local leaders, like Mike McNaughton, a war hero who was injured in Afghanistan, think that while he may not be doing anything illegal, he's breaking the morals that make a Marine.
"He's absolutely breaking the code and any Veteran that hears this story gets pretty pissed because we've done a lot for this country," said McNaughton.
"I can't ask for donations, I'm not a 501-C3, I can't say, 'M'am will you give me twenty dollars,' but if someone walks up to me and says, 'Sir, I want to feed you, here's ten dollars or here's twenty dollars for your cause,' just like a week and a half ago, we gathered $250, I didn't ask for the donations, it was over a three week period, and that money went to Raven's Outreach program here in Baton Rouge," said McQuown, while defending himself.
But News 2 contacted Raven's Outreach to ask if McQuown in fact made a donation. The organization, which houses homeless vets, said McQuown did initiate a pay-pal donation, but requested a refund just hours later.
In light of today's confrontation, leaders with Veteran's Affairs told News 2 they would donate to Raven's Outreach in lieu of McQuown's money.