Veteran, horse, and dog are walking thousands of miles across the U.S. for a good cause
"The Three Amigos" are traveling from coast to coast, all to help people suffering from PTSD and to save animals' lives.
Irene Markianou

A veteran is traveling across the country with his dog and horse by his side to raise awareness for a very important topic, PTSD.

It all started in November of 2021 when Perella got to a very low place in his life. His experience shows that PTSD can creep up at any point in a veteran’s life and not necessarily right after deployment.

With the stress of Covid and the economic crash following, everything he had built since being an active US Marine was gone and he had start over.

Unsplash - Damir Samatkulov
Unsplash - Damir Samatkulov

Luckily, he had his best friend, his service dog Raffe, with him, who saved him.

“I couldn’t believe that I got to such a place in my mind,” Perella told WLWT. “The moment I decided I was not going to live anymore, he came over and jumped on top of me, and he wouldn’t let me up, and he did that twice,” he said of his dog.

YouTube - WLWT
YouTube - WLWT

When he realized that he had reached that point, Perella decided that he had to do something about it. He was determined to not only seek help for the PTSD he was suffering from, but also to help other veterans.

According to Perella, 22 veterans lose their lives daily to suicide, and he is on a mission to change that.

So, the man took his dog and his horse, Buck, and started walking across the country in hopes to raise money for a ranch dedicated to service dogs, therapy horses, and, of course, veterans, who will have free access to it.

“I am setting out to build The Righteous Life Rescue Ranch for retired horses and death row dogs. I want to provide extensive training for dogs with aggression problems so that they can be donated to Veterans with PTSD as companion dogs,” Perella writes in a GoFundMe page he has created for this reason.

Matt and his companions in this project are also planning on having retired horses on the ranch in order to make sure they live out their days in a safe and humane environment.

Unsplash - Kelly Forrister
Unsplash - Kelly Forrister

They also wish to use horses as therapy for veterans suffering from PTSD.

Their coast-to-coast journey is about 5,000 miles long and it is supposed to be completed by the winter. Perella hopes to raise $10 million to build the ranch the way he has dreamed it.

“The more land the ranch has, the more horses [the ranch] can house, and the more retreats can be hosted at once,” Perella told FOX 19. “This is aimed to be the ultimate feel-good Ranch for veterans to come and enjoy absolutely free.”

And while Perella’s project and mission sound hard to achieve, he is determined to realize his dream and make the ranch a safe and healing place for every veteran having a hard time after deployment.

The man has also created an Instagram account for The Three Amigos riding across the US, and they already have more than 2.5k followers that support their mission.

However, their journey has not been only fun so far. At some point, they had to fight off horseflies and ticks. At some point, they spent five hours a day picking ticks out of Raffe, as Perella said.

Head over to the video below to see the veteran talk about his special mission.

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