I joined the army in 2008 thinking that I would only do a short stint in the reserves and leave after getting my degree. I ended up falling in love with the Service and found myself caring deeply for the people I serve with on a regular basis. I am lucky to have the best of both worlds working as a teacher in my civilian career and as a soldier when I am called to duty. My time away from my family during deployments and training exercises really makes me understand the importance of family and the role they play in keeping me grounded. While I am away, I find myself leaning on my fellow soldiers for emotional support and providing that same support to the soldiers under me. I realized that I needed to do more for my troops that aren’t around me on a regular basis by providing some form of assistance outside of my normal military service. That is why I decided that participating in this Tough Ruck was important.
The Tough Ruck is a march conducted with a heavy weighted sack (military back pack essentially) for long distances. It is something many of the men and women in uniform did throughout the history of the military as they marched long distances with all of their gear. Although the modern military has the benefit of updated technology and different modes of transportation that make going long distances easier, we still conduct ruck marches to remember the past and build unity amongst the troops. A ruck march should be a daunting and difficult task. A soldier will go into a ruck march full of energy and excitement, but as the march continues his muscles will tire and his back will ache. It is his mental fortitude that pushes the soldier through the difficulty. These moments are where our country develops one of the strongest service members on the planet. That is why the Tough Ruck is conducted. It is conducted to test the spirit and remember the sacrifices our brothers and sisters in uniform commit on a regular basis.
In addition to the spiritual unity the Tough Ruck brings for service members, it also allows us to raise money and donate it to a worthy cause for the families and soldiers with us today. The proceeds for the Tough Ruck that are donate go towards the Military Friends Foundation. We are still a Nation at War and Military Friends Foundation is dedicated to those who serve and their families. Established after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Military Friends Foundation has provided millions of dollars in direct aid to help these warriors. Military Friends Foundation offers grant programs, community building events, case management and more in support of families who have faced hardships related to military service