Coast-to-Coast by Horse, Via Laurens

Two men from rural Colorado, Southeast of Denver are on a long ‘coast-to-coast’ trek across America, on horseback. On their way through Laurens County yesterday stops included a visit to WLBG Radio. Raymond Avery tended the horses outside while Matt Littrell came into a studio for an interview. started the trip May 1st at Surf City, North Carolina; near Camp Lejeume. While traveling through Laurens County yesterday stops included WLBG Radio. He said the trip began May 1st. “We started at Surf City, North Carolina – it’s about 20 miles south of Camp LeJeune and we’ll be going to Camp Pendleton, California. That horse I’m riding, he’s a Mustang named Crow. His feet got wet in the Atlantic and they’re going to get wet in the Pacific.”

Littrell said he and Mr. Avery are taking the trip to raise money to help service members, through an organization called the “Semfer Fi Fund.”

Two men taking a horseback journey across the continent will obviously attract some attention along the way, so we asked how they plan to use the interest generated to raise money for service men and women. “Just pretty much talking with people along the way, getting the awareness for it. There’s a facebook page for it. It’s ‘the Long Trail Home’ on Facebook. And at the top of the page there’s a link where people can go and click the link and donate directly to The Semper Phi Fund. That way I don’t have to deal with the money: see it, touch it or smell it.”

Matt said the Semper Phi Fund helps each service member to meet their own unique needs; whether from physical injuries or to help deal with PTSD. While the organization has an apparent connection with the Marines, Matt said the money goes to help service members from all military services. He gave one example how one person was helped.

“It was a Marine, actually, that was laid up. He got hurt overseas and he was in a hospital bed in Bethesda. And they called him up and said ‘how can we help you’ and he said ‘I wanna see my Dad.’ And his Dad could not afford to board his two dogs or have anybody watch them so the Semper Phi fund actually paid to have his Dad’s dogs boarded for a week so he could go see his son.”

The website SemferFi.org states that 71,500 grants have been given to post-911 service members and their families for a wide range of assistance, totaling over $91 million.

After ‘staying over’ at Trinity Ridge Animal Clinton west of Laurens last night, they planned to travel west to the Honea Path area today, then head through rural areas south of Anderson to cross into Georgia. Littrell said they’ll use a horse trailer to carry the horses over places where the situation could be dangerous on horseback, such as bridges over the Savannah River in the next day or so, and over the Mississippi later in the trip.

More information and the option to donate to the cause are available at the Facebook page “The Long Trail Home” and on the Semper Fi website: www.semperfi.org