GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Matt Andersen and Trevor Stephens are walking across America to raise for money for veterans through the Purple Heart Foundation.
Stephens was in the Marine Corps, and now that he’s out, he wanted to give back. After convincing his friend, Andersen, they set off on March 1 from Delaware.
"I did a lot of hiking [in the Marines], but I don't think I ever did a 3,000-mile hike in the Marine Corps," said Stephens.
He said they weren’t sure how far they would make when they stepped off, but now, they’re almost two-thirds of the way through. They stopped in Grand Junction to hydrate and wait for a cart to pull more water.
"We're kind of following a trail called the American Discovery Trail," said Andersen.
Their final destination is San Francisco.
"I've learned mostly that American people are really generous, but another thing I've learned is If you put your mind to anything and you want to do it, that you can do it," said Stephens.
Their most challenging section is yet to come: the desert. They’ll be walking a stretch where they won’t see any kind of civilization for 97 miles.
"I don't really know how you mentally prepare yourself for it, you just kind of do it,” said Stephens.
"Water is the most important thing. It's also the heaviest thing,” said Andersen.
They’ll be carrying gallons of water to get through the hot and sandy conditions. But, regardless of the struggles, they're determined to see it through
"We will finish it, and that's something that we have to do," said Stephens.
They’ve raised more than $5,000 for the Purple Heart Foundation.