4th Annual Memorial Day RUCK March to be Held to Honor Veterans

The 4th Annual Ruck March, in Jefferson County, sponsored by VFW Post 3380, will be held on May 28th, and the walk will begin at the Jefferson City Community Center @ 7am. Registration is at 6:30 am. The 8 mile march will end at Brazelton Lodge, across from 1st Baptist Church in Dandridge.

“The Ruck March is a day to remember the sacrifice our nation’s heroes have paid,” shares Kevin Poe, a local advocate for revitalizing the meaning of Memorial Day.

Those participating are encouraged to carry thirty pound backpacks for 8 miles on their backs. The ruck sack is symbolic of the weight our service members carry. The term ‘Ruck’, simply means to move toward a destination with a purpose, with a weighted backpack.

Poe emphasizes our society’s need to return to honoring our service members’ sacrifice on this day. The march is all a part of an effort to provide an option for our community to honor the sacrifice of our military personnel, and to return Memorial Day to its original purpose.  Poe, who grew up being mentored by his Father, Major Russell Turner, and co-founder of the Memorial Day Ruck March, is now a retired Army man.

“It truly is an humbling experience to demonstrate every year through ruck marching, with Kevin and many others, our respect and gratitude for the brave men and women who gave their lives defending our country,” shared Major Russell. “I am proud of Kevin, and his choice to serve our country, when our Nation was under attack. There is no higher honor than to march alongside Kevin and to honor those who sacrificed their lives.”

“My Dad is my hero. I watched him deploy in support of every major US conflict from 1980 forward,”Poe added.

 When 911 happened, Poe, at the young age of only 19,  withdrew from college to join the United States Army, and immediately entered basic training.

“I am humbled by the sacrifice our service members have made and I knew that it was my turn,” shared Poe passionately.

Poe, who is a family man and a father of two girls, is truly active in the Jefferson County community, and isn’t just standing on the sidelines.

 He puts his money and time where his mouth is, other than being a major advocate for Veterans,  he is also a volunteer and board member for several organizations that influence the youth of our community, such as: Boys and Girls Club, Rescue 180 (Jefferson County’s Substance Abuse Coalition), and a Volunteer for the Tennessee Achieves program, mentoring local students through a scholarship program, as well as a Champion for and Chair of the Governor’s Healthier Tennessee Initiative, Jefferson Joins, that promotes healthy living.

Poe serve his country for 5 years on active duty, stationed in Fort Lewis, WA; Pusan, South Korea; and Camp Delta, Cuba (guarding captured terrorists).

He encourages our community to come out and join the march, the charge is $10, and all proceeds go to support the Dandridge VFW.

‘You will be glad you invested your time,” encourages Poe.

American or military service organizations’ flags are welcome.

For more info, contact Kevin Poe through his email: kpoe2000@gmail.com or go to memorialdayruckmarch.com.

Complimentary water will be provided at the start point, and along the way, with food at the finish line.

Jefferson Farmers Co-op 08112014