Over this past weekend, 110 active duty soldiers, veterans and civilians participated in a 75 mile ruck march from Fort Hood to Austin, Texas to help raise awareness for veteran suicide. The event began Thursday, February 16 starting with a sendoff of 1,000 soldiers at Fort Hood III Corp and ended on February 18 at the Texas State Capital building. This event has raised well over $13,000 while more donations are currently pending for Active Heroes.
“[The participants] were fired up the entire time!” said Cody McCain, Former Army Sergeant of eight years and event host. “I have guys still contacting me about how great their experience was and asking about next year’s event.”
McCain has coordinated three ruck marches since 2015 and he plans to host Carry The Fallen again next year from February 15 to the 17.
“This event went better than expected thanks to all of the participants, volunteers and donors,” said McCain. “There were some hiccups along the way, but just like all military [personnel] we adapt and overcome.”
Marchers met at Shiners Saloon after their long journey and participated in a ruck social and auction hosted by Lone Star Chivers of Austin, Texas. There, The Lone Star Chivers were able to raise an additional $350 from ticket sales and $1,900 from items auctioned.
There were roughly 35 volunteers who donated their time to help set up and break down tents while the participants marched. Thank you to Debbie and Cody Stevenson for Thursday night’s dinner, Stephanie and Edie Goodwin for Friday night’s dinner, and Carla Manning for helping get onto Fort Hood as well as her donation of 250 gallons of water and part of lunch. Thank you, Adam English, Team Leader from North Carolina and Laura Thomas, Team leader from St. Louis who came to Texas to help out and attend the ruck.
We’d also like to thank local businesses in the area for food donations such as Papa Johns of Leander, McAlister’s of Killeen, Goldstar Austin members and American Legion Knebel Post #83. They all kept the marchers well fed! And lastly, to American Legion Post #447 who welcomed McCain and all of the participants with open arms each night to camp.
Active Heroes is always looking for new participants, ambassadors and peer mentors to assist in the fight to end veteran suicide. Check here for the next Carry The Fallen even in your city.