Marine riding cross country raising awareness for veterans

Published: Aug. 18, 2014 at 1:43 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2014 at 2:50 PM CDT
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MARLOW, Okla._One Marine is raising awareness by riding across the country on horseback, in what he's named, "The Long Trail Home."

Matt Littrell was in the Marine Corps from 2001 to 2005, serving two tours in Iraq.  Now, he's on his journey, that started in May, to raise money and awareness for the Semper Fi Fund.

That fund goes to help wounded, critically ill and injured members of the Armed Forces, and their families, making sure those veterans are taken care off.

Littrell and a close friend left in May from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina headed to Camp Pendleton, California, and they've been riding ever since. Littrell decided to do this last year, after nearly ending his life.

He joined the Marines because of something his dad once told him.

"I was looking at different branches and he said if you are going to be a bear be a grizzly so I walked into the Marine Corps office and said I want infantry and want tomorrow," said Littrell.

His service though would leave scars, the kind you can't see.

"Like 22 guys a day, I sat there looking at a pistol on the table, and i almost ended it right then," said Littrell.

Days later, he decided to be the grizzly he was and ride cross country spreading awareness.

"Helping these guys that come back from overseas and more importantly, you know, letting these guys know that people still care," said Littrell.

So he rides, fifteen to to twenty miles a day, with the help of a close friend. He says there are some struggles on the road

but that they don't even compare to what some veterans go through.

"Hot weather is nothing, this isn't a 130 degrees and you're getting shot at. The challenges that we face are laughable," said Littrell.

He understands that what he is doing is a good thing, but more importantly to him is showing veterans that people care about them.

"We can raise all the money in the world and that's great, that's going to help a lot of people but these guys that are seeing what we are doing and they see what it means to other people that's where you make your money, that's what really matters," said Littrell.

They use seven horses on the trip, alternating between the ones they ride. The other horses ride in a trailer.

If you want to help Littrell, you can follow his Facebook page called, "The Long Trail Home." If you want to donate to the Semper Fi Fund, you can visit

If you want to find out how you can help littrell or donate to the semper fi fund you can visit our website, k-s-w-o dot com.