A Spencer County community is hitting the pavement in support of our troops.
Matt Small is a South Spencer High School graduate who is on his third tour of duty. He is currently stationed in Afghanistan.
Matt's made a career of fighting for our country, but he also has a side mission.
While deployed, he's committed to running 1,000 miles.
In support of his mission, family and friends back home have made a similar pledge.
Matt enrolled in the National Guard as a junior at South Spencer High School.
His parents said they had their reservations.
"They told us, he's probably never going to have to be sent overseas," said Rita Small.
But after 9/11, Matt's life changed. He served two tours with the National Guard in Kuwait and Iraq.
Two years ago, he commissioned into the active military.
"Being a multiple deployment for me, I know when you come into a deployment you realize you need something to help pass the time other than work," said Matt. "So I was just kicking around the idea of things to do and part of it is just curiosity and part of it is just stubbornness. I told my goal to another couple of individuals and they pretty much said I couldn't do it. More so than anything else it's stubbornness."
"He can be stubborn, so if anybody at all says, 'Hey you can't do it,' he's going to be the first to prove them wrong. There's no doubt in my mind he's going to do it."
Matt's mom, Rita, calls him her 'Health Nut' and isn't surprised that he committed himself to running 1,000 miles before he comes back stateside.
"He's always been a real go getter when it comes to it," said Rita. "He's a really good athlete. He's always been a runner. He's done several marathons and stuff like that."
So Rita joined in on the mission, creating the Facebook page Miles with Matt.
"Leave it to my mom to take a simple goal that I started and turn it into a community wide event," said Matt. "It's incredible, the support they're giving me."
"It's incredible," said Rita. "It just blew up. I have somebody on there that puts their miles down from Billings, Montana. I don't know these people, but they're supporting my son. It's really touching. Sometimes I sit on Facebook and I look at all the posts and it brings tears to my eyes."
The page has been motivating Rita, Matt's dad David, and all of the Spencer County community.
"It's just good to know people back home are thinking about all of us over here, not just me," said Matt.
Matt posts his progress on the Facebook page. The group is inviting everyone to join them to walk in support of the troops.
They will be meeting at 8:00 on Saturday morning on the track at South Spencer High School.
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