23rd Veteran Brings Nearly Naked Ruck March to St. Cloud
ST. CLOUD-- In 2012, it was estimated that 22 veterans a day commit suicide. The 23rd Veteran organization is making it their mission to lower that number with the Nearly Naked Ruck March.
They're in St. Cloud this weekend for their sixth ever march.
Executive Director Mike Waldron says Saturday's 10-mile ruck march with weighted packs represents the struggle some service members face every day.
We've lost about 6500 military members in combat since 9/11, and in that same time frame, we've lost over 130,000 veterans to suicide.
Waldron's personal experiences with combat stress went into designing the organization's 14-week reconditioning program.
The program gives veterans a community, physical outlets, and positive psychology sessions to support them through the transition from military to civilian life. Every $2,500 raised at the event will put one local veteran through the program, which Waldron says has been a success.
It's been very successful. Every single graduate of the program has reported living a happier and higher quality of life, and just this year, 2018, we were named the best venture impacting veterans because of it.
The all-day event takes place Saturday at Lake George. Registration is at 8:30 a.m. and step-off for the march is at 10:00 a.m.
You can choose to walk two, five, or 10 miles with a rucksack, any pack will do, full of canned goods and clothes to donate at the finish line. 23rd Veteran recommends carrying no more than 20 pounds.
Free parking will be available, and warming stations will be set up around the route. An after party will follow the march.
23rd Veteran was founded in Duluth in 2015.