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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Former Marine makes cross-country trip on horseback to raise money for returning soldiers

A former Marine plans to ride a horse from North Carolina to California.
He is making the cross-country trip to raise money to help soldiers returning home from war.
"The horses have been a very important part of how I became how I am now."
When Matt Littrell rides his horse near his home near Elizabeth, he can't help but think of how he and crow are one in the same.

Crow is a mustang and spent the beginning of his life on his own.
"They've had to fight for their survival just like we did."

Matt's fight started in 2001.
He joined the Marines just before 9/11.
He shipped out into some of the most dangerous parts of the following war, but it's what he witnessed after that was the tough part.
"We got back, and since then, due to duis and suicides and other things, we've lost almost as many people as we did overseas."

"You feel helpless. Your brothers are dying and there's nothing you can do."
Matt found his peace in a stable.
"The horses really mellowed me out. and now he's using that peace to try to help his brothers.

"I'm taking two horses and I'm riding from Surf City, North Carolina, to Camp Pendleton, California."  and throughout that five-month ride, he's raising money for the semper fi fund.

He's already raised more than 2,000 dollars.
You may think five months on horseback is a bit much, but Matt says it's what he needs to do.

"When ideas come to a person I don't think you can stop them. You just.. You've got to do them. And this is my way of doing something."
Not just something for his brothers but also something for himself.

"What I'm calling the whole deal is the long trail home. And it is: Coming back, transitioning and rejoining society and getting right with yourself again. It's a long, long, hard trail." a trail this cowboy and his horses area ready to take on together.
Matt plans to start for his 2600 mile journey on May 1st.