Marine rides horseback across America to help prevent military suicides

Mentone, Ala. (WHNT)- Marine Matt Littrell is riding horseback from coast to coast.  A months long journey that will carry him across the heart of America.

“What we are doing is taking these four horses here and riding from Surf City North Carolina to Camp Pendleton, California,” Littrell said.

Tuesday morning WHNT News 19 caught up with Littrell as he was making his way down Lookout Mountain.  The Colorado native had spent the night before on a farm near Mentone.

“Well we’ve ridden in four states, and we’ve crossed one time zone.  So it’s been an experience.”

An experience the marine, who did two tours in Iraq, is making to raise both awareness and funds to help prevent military suicides.  A record number of military service members are returning from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and then taking their own lives.

“And I was almost one of those,” he said.  “I spent a long night with a pistol on the table in front of me after coming back from Iraq.   I woke up a few days later and knew that I was going to do it.”

By do it he means this trek by horse.   He’s raising money for the Semper Fi Fund and all of the services its provides to veterans trying to make a transition back to civilian life.

“Essentially what I want is some guy to hear about this.  Some guy that was in the same situation I was.  And he sees you know that we are still doing something.   They haven’t been forgotten.  They haven’t been left out to dry.  We still remember them.  We are still fighting for them.”

If you would like to make a contribution to the Semper Fi Fund or follow Littrell’s journey across the country, there is a website setup where you can do both.  It’s called The Long Trail Home.

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