Siouxlanders participate in 12-mile ruck to support service members

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JACKSON, Neb. (KCAU) — 12 miles, 35 pounds, and pouring rain.

Roughly 50 people went rucking through the back roads of Jackson, Nebraska, all in the name of brotherhood.

“Coming out to be able to support a good cause, having a cabin where guys can come and work through their issues and everything like that. I think it’s an awesome idea, so anything we can do to support it,” servicemember and participant Marc Cruz said.

Tim Grover created Contact Front and Rev Tac; it’s a place he made for service members, like himself, to come and feel safe or connected.

With the event “Ruck University,” Grover hopes to raise money for a cabin, where service members and their families can use to get away during times like the 4th of July. A day filled with loud noises, similar to gunfire, that can sometimes be triggering to those who have served.

“What we found is that when guys come in, they need a place to stay and even guys in the community who may not like fireworks during that time of year, and they just need that retreat from that,” Grover said.

He also hopes to raise awareness to how difficult adapting to life after the service can be.

“Guys who hang up their uniform, sometimes they feel like the pinnacle of their life was combat and I want to help them find purpose after their uniform. They can find that this world is amazing if you just look for the wonder in it.”

“We need to take care of our own men. There’s all of us have given up a lot of time and energy and sacrificed time with our family and friends and there’s guys that when they get out, they don’t have anywhere to go, so they just need to kind of turn back to the brotherhood,” said John Bridges, who is also in the service and participated in the walk.

Volunteers and participants came from as far away as the West Coast, but not all have been enlisted. Dale Hartshorn is 70 years old and went rucking for 9 miles to show his support.

“It’s a good event, how can you not be a part of something like that, and it seemed like a fun thing to do even though it was raining.”

There were medics and stations for people to stop and get water. The first and second place finishers were given backpacks as a prize. To end the day, they flipped a few burgers and grilled hot dogs to celebrate.

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