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What 22 miles means for veterans march participants

Ruck March

Twenty-two veterans a day commit suicide. I’m sure this is a statistic everyone has heard at this point.

On May 27, the third annual Ruck of Honor: A Tribute to Fallen Heroes will kick off in Chicago. This ruck march will have teams and individuals marching 22 miles with 22 pounds on their back to raise awareness about PTSD and veteran suicide. All fundraising proceeds will be donated to Chicago Veterans, a local nonprofit who helps Veterans in a variety of different ways.

The John Marshall Law School has a team from our Veterans Clinic that is participating in this ruck march. While 22 miles may seem like a lot, we emphasized to our team members that this is not a run. It’s an all-day event that where you can walk as slow or as fast as you would like. It’s a team building exercise that promotes bonding between both civilians and veterans who share a same goal – awareness of PTSD and veteran suicide.

We will meet in Glencoe at 8 a.m. sharp, and the march will end in Chicago between 4 and 6 p.m. If participants don’t want to ruck the full 22 miles, they are welcome to join us at any point in the march. There are restrooms and water stops all along the route. Participants are welcome to stop for lunch at any point, or they can pack their lunch to stop and eat at their leisure.

I strongly encourage anyone who is interested to join us for as much or as little of the march as they would like. Donations of any kind are also welcome. Remember to cut your toenails beforehand and to wear good socks! Blisters are not fun.

But more importantly, grab some friends, and join us in remembrance of those who suffered from the invisible wounds of war and in the hopes that we can make a difference in our veterans’ lives.

Jessica Vasil Jessica Vasil graduates from The John Marshall Law School with her J.D. in May 2016 and her LLM in December 2016. She is the Discharge Upgrade Team Leader at the Veterans Legal Support Center and Clinic and looks forward to a career as a JAG in the Air Force after graduation.