South Dakota cowboy rides to Washington

Published: Oct. 17, 2016 at 4:30 PM EDT
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Meet cowboy Tony Jones and his horses -- Semper Fi, JT, and Charlie.

The four have spent a lot of time together the past few months. They left Jones’ hometown of Fort Pierre, South Dakota back on June 5. Their destination – Washington, D.C.

“When did we start to become talkers and not doers anymore?" asked Jones. " So I just decided to go out and find for myself.”

Jones doesn’t think enough is being done to take care of our veterans. So he decided to ride 1,600 miles – from the Missouri River to the Potomac River – to hear from vets themselves.

“I rode out into America trying to see what was going on, and I rediscovered America on the way," Jones explained.

Throughout his journey, people in small towns gave Jones and his horses food and shelter.

“In Warren, Illinois...the whole town escorted me in with a police escort. And the next town over, Pearl City, they escorted me in with the fire department," he said.

But it wasn’t always a celebration. Three of the vets Jones met committed suicide. Everyday, 22 people who served our country, take their own lives.

Jones is also raising money for the Semper Fi Fund, which provides financial assistance to wounded warriors.

“They go out and find people. They don’t wait for them to ask for it anything else. They just go out and take care of them," he said.

And that’s his message to all Americans – take care of one another.

“We’ve got a million problems of problems in America," said Jones. "But if you take one at a time, and you solve that, and the unity it took to solve that problem, there ain’t a problem in America we can’t solve. This is the one I choose.”

Jones will hold a ceremony to honor our veterans on Tuesday at the World War II Memorial.

If you'd like to donate to Jones' Semper Fi Fund fundraising campaign, click the link at the top of this page.

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