Cowboy embarks on second journey to help veterans across South Dakota

Published: Jul. 29, 2018 at 8:35 PM MDT
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Tony Jones embarked on his first journey to raise awareness about the challenges veterans face three years ago.

"To be able to ride for this cause and for these great people, you have no idea what kind of honor it is. It's the greatest honor a man could ever have," Jones said.

After returning from a long voyage to Washington D.C., it was Post 20 in Fort Pierre that welcomed him back home.

"We thought what more of a sign can we have than a gentleman than that he did this for the veterans, he did that ride for the veterans and he wants to do another ride for the veterans," said Royce Loesch, transportation director for the Highly Rural Transportation Grant.

This time Jones will spend four weeks traveling from Hot Springs to Fort Pierre --- explaining to veterans the free benefits of the Highly Rural Transportation Grant --- with several posts and service organizations at his side.

"Help him get along, move him from one place to another, move the trailer from place to another," said Marc Lamphere, commander of Battle Mountain Post 71.

"It represents the work of a lot of people and we couldn't do it without them and it shows how American Legion posts can work together and American Legion veterans can work together to take care the veterans," Loesch said.

The wellbeing of veterans always being a passion of his, Jones says he could not be riding for a better reason.

"It means everything to me. It;'s the greatest thing in the world to be surrounded by heroes every step you take, how can you beat that? he expressed.

Jones says although things may be difficult for veterans, his hope is that there are people like him brave enough to help them out.

"Don't wait for somebody else to jump. Saddle your horse up and get out there and get it yourself," he said.