In remembrance of those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, and to raise awareness about tragic military/veteran suicides, a pair of local organizations teamed up to sponsored a Ruck walk on Sept. 11.
(A ruck is a heavy backpack containing supplies and other necessities).
Ruck for Warriors, an organization whose mission is to raise awareness and prevent military and veteran suicides, and the Toledo Chapter of Team RWB (Red, White and Blue), an organization dedicated to help veterans transition from service member to civilian, sponsored the full-ruck march from Oak Harbor to the Toledo Firefighter Memorial in Toledo – a 25-mile route.
Michael Lattea, RWB member and founder of Ruck for Warriors, was joined on the walk by Brian Stark. Others took up with the pair along the way and walked part of the way, including Joe Helle and 6-year-old Timothy Willoughby, whose mom, Nicole is Chapter Captain of Team RWB Toledo. Ms. Willoughby, a wounded veteran, followed the ruckers in her vehicle to provide hydration and medical support.
The marchers left at about 7 a.m., and throughout the day, braved the 90-plus degree heat and humidity, traveling along SR 163 to SR 51 to the memorial at Huron and Beech streets in Toledo. Upon arrival, a moment of silence was held for the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Informational displays were also available for veterans.
Founded in 2009, Team RWB has become one of the community organizing leaders in helping veterans transition to a civilian lifestyle and become active members of their community, usually while dealing with some form of stressor.
This is just one of several marches put forth by Ruck for Warriors. More information about the organization is available on Facebook.
For more information about Team RWB, visit www.teamrwb.org or look for Team RWB Toledo on Facebook.