By JB Clark
TUPELO – Two men dressed in frontiersman clothes, complete with leather chaps, rode on horseback down Main Street on Thursday afternoon, two packhorses in tow.
The men, Matt Littrell and Raymond Avery, of Elbert, Colorado, are riding across the United States to raise money and awareness of the struggles and lack of resources or support facing veterans when they return from service.
Littrell, a veteran himself, said he was in bad shape trying to readjust to civilian life.
“Like most vets who are having a hard time, I almost found myself on the wrong end of a pistol,” he said. “A few days later I woke up and realized this was something I had to do.”
They have raised about $30,000 since leaving Camp Lejeune in North Carolina on May 1.
The money being donated through The Long Trail Home is going to the Semper Fi Fund, a nonprofit organization that provides financial support for injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed forces and their families.
Littrell said the organization meets each veteran’s needs on a case-by-case basis instead of trying to provide blanket solutions.
The two riders and four horses plan to be at Camp Pendleton in California nine months from their departure.
“We want to let people know about the problems our veterans face, but we also want to show these veterans that, as a country, people still care.”
Donations can be made by visiting The Long Trail Home Facebook page.