For the second year, Active Heroes is embarking on a four-day hike across Kentucky, spanning over 139 miles.
Sergeant First Class Paul Smith participated in the ruck last year. He plans to tackle the trek again March 31st through April 3rd this year, where participants will travel from Ft. Campbell to Ft. Knox.
Like many Carry The Fallen participants, for Smith, he said the decision to take on this grueling task to raise awareness is a personal one.
“Like most of the members of Team Louisville that decided to do this march, I have lost a fellow battle buddy to suicide,” said Smith.
Currently working at the Human Resources Command in Fort Knox, he said his career has taken him through a couple of deployments and 29 different countries.
Smith said looking back at last year’s event, he was impressed by the strength and courage he saw in his fellow participants.
“Every time I thought I could not be more impressed, I saw another act of strength and courage. From the guys that marched from the beginning until they could go no farther,” said Smith. “This was more than just a march, this was a personal sacrifice of mind and body. We carried the weight of our brothers and sisters that we lost. We carried the hearts and minds of all the Kentuckians we passed. We carried the weight of the Armed Forces and the entire nation for that matter.”
While some participants will push themselves to the stopping location, Active Heroes welcomes all to the event, with options to both join and leave the group easily through shuttles vans.
The main goal of Carry The Fallen events such as this one, is to develop and foster camaraderie and a social network.
Participants such as Smith say that’s exactly why they love participating.
“I wish I had one experience to truly take away from this event. The fact is, there were many,” said Smith. “Something to pass to people that are interested in taking part in one of these events, It will change your life. If you are having second thoughts throw them away,” said Smith.
If you are interested in joining the event, please sign up here.
Also, find the Ft. Campbell to Ft. Knox event on Facebook here.