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Marines Marching Through Santa Barbara in Show of Support for Wounded Veterans

Volunteers with the Spartan Hike fundraiser plan to cover 90 miles in two days

The six U.S. Marines of the Spartan Hike, a fundraiser benefiting combat-wounded veterans, have decided to take on the ultimate challenge as a devotion to their fellow brothers and sisters in arms. They are adding 70 miles to their 425-mile march as they pass through the Santa Barbara area Friday and Saturday, totaling 90 miles in just two days.

American Spartan Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting combat-wounded veterans as they make the transition back into the civilian world with their injuries. The Spartan Hike is the first fundraiser of the new charity, whose motto is, “Physically inspiring challenges.”

Originally, the Marines were going to march about 20 miles each day, totaling 425 miles by the time they reach San Clemente on March 5. The long, lonely stretch from Vandenberg Village past Santa Barbara had not been calculated in the hike, as they planned to drive through it. That is, until their leader and founder, Sgt. Daniel Arcand, decided they couldn’t take the easy way through a difficult journey, because the wounded combat veterans they support don’t have that option.

“I wanted to contribute to something aimed at helping the men and women of America,” said hiker and Gunnery Sgt. Andrew Klatt. “They have sacrificed so much to keep my wife and children safe, and I feel that this hike is a small thank you to them.”

The Marines will be marching 66 miles on Saturday and 24 miles on Sunday, no matter the weather. All hikers readily agreed to the additional miles, as they are committed to bringing awareness and support to the charity. They will spend both nights at Carpinteria State Beach.

According to the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, 4,481 warriors were wounded in Afghanistan in 2010 alone.

Living through combat is only the first step in an uphill battle for the injured service men and women. Support from family and friends is crucial and costly, as many surgeries take place overseas. American Spartan Inc. aims to provide financial assistance to the families, so they may be with their loved ones during this time. After the surgeries and military discharge, they seek to help the wounded as they transition back into the civilian world and continue their rehabilitation.

American Spartan Inc. was founded and operated by volunteering, active-duty Marines. The purpose of American Spartan Inc. is to provide financial relief and moral support for wounded veterans and their families, with the Spartan Hike being their first large fundraiser.

Click here for more information about American Spartan Inc. and the work it’s doing for wounded warriors. Become a fan of American Spartan Inc. on Facebook.

— Sgt. Daniel Arcand represents American Spartan Inc.‘s Spartan Hike.

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