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What The Ruck? The symbolism of this Supportive Tradition

In the realm of veteran support and community bonding, the term "ruck" resonates deeply. But what exactly is a ruck, and why do they hold such significance in supporting veterans?

At its core, a ruck is physically demanding and involves walking or marching over a long distance while carrying a weighted backpack, typically a rucksack or a military-style backpack. The weight carried can vary depending on the event and the participants' capabilities, but it commonly ranges from 20 to 50 pounds. Originating from military training exercises, rucking has transcended its roots to become a symbol of solidarity, resilience, and support for veterans.

Rucks are organized for various purposes, from fundraising for veteran charities to raising awareness about veterans' issues or simply fostering a sense of camaraderie among participants. These events often draw a diverse crowd, including veterans, active-duty military personnel, first responders, and civilians, all coming together to honor and support those who have served their country.

Participating in a ruck is not just about physical endurance; it's about embodying the spirit of service and sacrifice. Carrying the weight on one's back is a tangible representation of the burdens veterans may carry—both seen and unseen—as they navigate life after their service. It's a way for civilians to empathize with their struggles and show solidarity with their journey.

Rucks serve as a platform for storytelling and connection. As participants march alongside each other, they share experiences, forge bonds, and create a supportive community. The collective effort of completing a ruck reinforces the notion that no one is alone in their struggles, and together, they can overcome obstacles.

Beyond the physical exertion, rucks symbolize resilience and determination. They embody the ethos of "embracing the suck," acknowledging the challenges ahead and pushing through them with unwavering resolve—a mindset ingrained in military training and essential for navigating life's trials.

More than just a walk with a heavy backpack, Rucks are a testament to the enduring bond between civilians and veterans, a tribute to sacrifice, and a reminder of the strength found in community support. By participating in rucks, individuals not only honor veterans but also actively contribute to their well-being, ensuring that their service and sacrifices are never forgotten.

Want to give a Ruck a try? Consider signing up for the "Who Gives a Ruck?" Annual 5K to Prevent Suicide, May 18 at Peak Sport Center in Loves Park. To sign up visit:

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