Third Annual Ruck March Is A Big Success

Billie Jean Chambers Cheers on Ruck March Participants with other members of the DAR

Billie Jean Chambers Cheers on Ruck March Participants with other members of the DAR

Kevin Poe, co- founder and coordinator for the Memorial Day Ruck March, would like to thank the community for coming out to show their support and respect for our fallen Veterans.

“Our Nation’s heroes are honored by continuing to speak their names,” said Poe.

Poe also shares that his Dad, Russell Turner, who is a retired Military man as well as the Commander for VFW 3380, has inspired him to help organize this annual event.

Every year the March gets more impactful, as it continues to convey the message that Memorial Day was set aside to honor our fallen Veterans. This year there was a special ceremony after the 8 mile Ruck, to honor our Vietnam Veterans.

The ceremony emphasized that over 58,000 soldiers lost their lives in the Vietnam War, and several who survived were on hand to represent.

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) were on hand to honor the Veteran’s with a certificate of recognition, “Until the day they return or find eternal peace, we will remember!” Shared Jane Chambers, Vice Regent of the DAR, she is a veteran herself and was the first female to join the VFW 3380 as a lifetime member. Chambers joined on her return from Desert Storm, with the 101st airborne division.

Jane presented the “Missing Man Table Ceremony” that signifies our dedication to remembering those who are not with us to celebrate. She stated in closing that “Until the day they return home, or find eternal peace, we will remember!” Since 1973, more than 1,000 Americans unaccounted for from the Vietnam War have been identified by remains recovered in or returned by Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

3rd Annual Ruck MarchPhoto submitted by Rev. Debra Schultz

3rd Annual Ruck March
Photo submitted by Rev. Debra Schultz

There were several members of the DAR there to cheer on the Ruck March. Chamber’s Mother-in-law, Billie Jean Chambers, was one of them who passionately showed her support from the sidelines.

Mary Cay Khiel, Regent of the Martha Dandridge Washington Chapter, NSDAR, spoke about her father’s service in Vietnam, having left when she was only 17 months old. She shared how fortunate she feels that her father was one of the veterans that returned home; and shared her gratitude for all that served, especially those who remain unaccounted for.

The Martha Dandridge Washington Chapter, NSDAR is a Vietnam Veteran Commemorative Partner and seeks to recognize as many of the veterans of that war as possible.

“We also had several volunteers along the road providing free water to the Ruck March participants,” added Poe.

The event wasn’t limited to Veterans. Several civilians were on hand to show their support.

“This was my first year to be a part and it was a challenge to do the 8 mile Ruck, but it was worth it all knowing I was actually doing something somewhat profound to honor fallen veterans. Attending the celebration was an honor and a privilege,” shared Elizabeth Haynes, a participant in the Ruck March.

Another participant, Sarah Grammar shared her perspective, “The March made me realize how blessed I am to be alive and healthy enough to walk in honor of our men and women who gave their lives for our freedom.”

Poe says the event will continue to be an annual event and all proceeds go to help our local Veterans of Foreign War.

Source: Rev. Debra Schultz

Jefferson Farmers Co-op 08112014