5th Annual Memorial Day RUCK March

The 5th Annual Ruck March, in Jefferson County, sponsored by VFW Post 3380, will be held on May 27th, 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, Jefferson County’s Circuit Court Clerk and a veteran passionate about taking back Memorial Day’s original meaning.

Poe says the event is not a competition, “It is an event created to stir a ‘spirit of honor’ and to remember the fallen service member, who sacrificed their lives to serve our country.”

Those participating are encouraged to carry thirty-pound backpacks or similar for the 8 mile ruck march

“The ruck sack is symbolic of the weight our service members carried while serving our country. The term ‘Ruck’, simply means to move toward a destination with a purpose, with a weighted backpack,” explains Poe.

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 serves as Jefferson County’s new Ciruit Court Clerk is known for being consistently mindful of the importance of honoring God, Country, and family.

These principles are a high priority for Poe and spills out into his passion to be a leader and servant in Jefferson County. 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 and a volunteer for the Tennessee achieves program that mentors students through a scholarship program.

His military service includes 5 years of active duty, stationed in Fort Lewis, WA; Pusan, South Korea; and Camp Delta, Cuba (guarding captured terrorists).

Poe says even though this is not a competitive event everyone is welcome to attend including all runners, and participants of any physical ability.

“Come on out and honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice,you will not be wasting your holiday, it’s just the right thing to do.”

The charge is $10, and all proceeds go to support the Dandridge VFW and Operation Enduring Warrior.

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.