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Couple's 1,000 mile hike for charity
A COUPLE are preparing for a mammoth four month trek up the east coast of America to raise money for two military charities.
Vicki and Scott Pattison-Willits hope to complete the final 1,000 miles of their quest by October as they fundraise for Help for Heroes and the American equivalent, the Wounded Warrior Project.
They, along with their golden retrievers Mojo and Skye, will be taking in 14 states along the 2,180 mile Appalachian Trail and are aiming to raise £5,000 for each charity.
Scott, a retired US Air Force Lt Col, started the trek by himself in March and has so far completed 600 miles, and this month will be joined from wife Vicki, from High Wycombe.
He said: "After 23 years in the Air Force, these two organisations are very near and dear to both Vicki and I. The brave men and women they support deserve nothing but the best treatment available so we are honoured to be doing this hike for them. "This is not about us, it is about our military family members who need these organisations."
The walk had to be postponed halfway through after their home was burgled but the couple are now ready to complete the trail, which is one of the longest and most iconic continuous routes in America.
Vicki said: "Even though I won't have hiked the whole way I am hoping that hiking 1,000 miles and camping out in the wilderness for four months will enable me to raise as much money as possible for our charities.
"Regardless of the problems that have got in our way we plan on doing as much as possible and raising as much money as possible.
"As a conservationist myself I am used to working in harsh conditions and the great outdoors and being pushed mentally and physically and am looking forward to this unique challenge.
"The trail is tough going especially with two dogs as well - there is little in the way of home comforts and most nights are spent in the tent and of course we have to carry our own equipment and food the whole way."
The couple will be blogging throughout their journey at http://willitsatadventure2012.blogspot.com/.
To donate to the Wounded Warrior Project go to https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/individual-fundraising/WillitsATAdventure2012/ and to donate to Help for Heroes go to www.bmycharity.com/WillitsAppalachianTrailAdventure2012.
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