The Troy for Troops Center, Student Veterans Association and SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society will be hosting a ‘Ruck-a-Thon’ to culminate Veterans’ Week.
Veterans’ Week will begin on Monday, Nov. 10, and will end Saturday, Nov. 15.
The Ruck-a-Thon is a way for the military on campus — active duty, reservist or ROTC — and other members of the community to support veterans. This year is the first for the event.
Phillip Johnson, a senior social science education major from Paxton, Florida, a nine-year active duty Marine, ROTC Cadet, National Guard member and treasurer for SALUTE, said that the event is something to help military supporters get a feel for what those in the military experience.
“We wanted to give the university something they haven’t had before,” Johnson said. “So, we came up with the idea of a walk-a-thon, but with ruck packs. We would have students put on a military-style ruck and walk around the university. We wanted to give the students the short experience of what it’s like to have that pack on and have that camaraderie.”
Gates open at 10am on Saturday, Nov. 15, for the six-hour Ruck-a-Thon. The event will kick off at 10:30am on the Troy University Track.
Participation is open to any team of 4-10 people and the entry fee is $10 per person. One team member will be required to carry a 20-pound ruck during the event.
“We didn’t want to limit people to small groups,” Johnson said. “We wanted bigger groups. That way, you could have more fun as a team. They will carry a 20-pound ruck, which probably weighs less than most students backpack. So, they may not even notice the weight.”
There will be mini-games for those who are not participating in the “rucking” portion of the event. These games, thought of by the members of Troy for Troops, are military-themed and will be held throughout the Ruck-a-Thon. The awards will be given at the end for the teams who covered the most distance and raised the most money. There will also be door prizes and other giveaways.
The event’s hosts, the Student Veterans Association and the SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society, are organizations aimed at supporting student veterans. The money raised from this event will go to two other veteran-affiliated organizations.
The Wounded Warrior Project, founded in 2003, aims to honor and empower wounded warriors and their families. The vision of the organization is “to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.”
The goal of the Lone Survivor Foundation, founded in 2010, is to restore, empower and renew hope for our wounded service members and their families through health, wellness and therapeutic support.
The Troy for Troops Center will also be hosting a number of other events throughout the week in honor of Veterans’ Week.
There will be an awareness event, which will cover basic issues like veterans in college. There will be a discussion panel of veterans who are teachers and students held afterward.
There will be tables with information about the military, where students can participate in mini-games that are based on military exercises.
There will be a movie showing of “The Hornet’s Nest,” with a discussion afterward.
There will also be a dog tag fundraiser. Tags will be sold for $8 and anything with letters can be put on the tags. The order will be sent off and those who buy a dog tag will be notified and asked to pick them up at the Troy for Troops Center.
“We’re trying to get students who may not be aware of all the issues that affect veterans informed on them,” Johnson said. Many of our teachers and students our veterans, and many people may not be aware of that.”
There are many posters around campus with taglines for the event, such as “Keep Calm and Ruck On,” and “Big or Small, Ruck Them All.”
The deadline to register for the Ruck-a-Thon is Nov 13. There are currently 10 packs left. If you wish to register a team for the event or become a sponsor, contact 334-670-3856 or stop by room 122 in the Trojan Center.