On Saturday, May 27, Paducah Operation Zero will host their first annual 10K Bluegrass Battle Zero Ruck March. “What’s a ruck march?” I hear you asking. Participants are encouraged to march carrying a ruck sack, or backpack, loaded down with 22lbs of weight. This is a symbolic amount – it represents the 22+ veterans who take their own lives every day.
Organizers hope that all veterans, active duty and concerned civilians will join them. The ruck march will raise money and help to support those that have given so much to ensure our freedom and to show them that they are not alone. All proceeds from this march will go to benefit the local chapter of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans and their families.
Opening ceremonies will begin at 7:30am with the march kicking off at 8am at Paducah's historic downtown flood wall. You can walk or march without a rucksack or bring one with weight in it to march with. Organizers ask that you also remember to bring water and other means of hydration and to wear comfortable shoes. Oh yeah and motivation - lots of motivation.
Registration is $50 with online registration available at paducahoperationzero.com. Any member of the community is welcome so please come out and support our veterans.
This event has many sponsors including Banterra Bank, Chin, IMAC, JAS Photography, Microblading by McKenzie Fields, Paducah Bank, Paducah Sun, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel, Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 184, River 2 River Fitness, Sam's Club, The Dirt Road, WJLI, Zumba, the Petway Family, Julie Tennyson and Lori & Randy Tinsley.
The Operation Zero mission is to save a life - hopefully thousands of lives. Every day 22+ veterans take their own lives. Having served our country, many of them for multiple tours in war torn countries, they return home and try to resume a “normal” life. They have physical injuries, emotional traumas, and sometimes missing limbs.
Unfortunately, and all too often, the physical and emotional weight they carry can become too much to bear. Many see suicide as the only option to relieving the suffering they experience. These men and women put everything on the line to protect every citizen in this country. Battle Zero believes even the loss of one is too many. The purpose of operation zero is to demonstrate to our veterans that their community is behind them each and every day.
Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than 1 million veterans in positive, life-changing ways each year. The organization provides more than 670,000 rides for veterans attending medical appointments and assists veterans with more than 292,000 benefit claims annually. In 2016, DAV helped attain more than $4 billion in new and retroactive benefits to care for veterans, their families and survivors.
DAV is also a leader in connecting veterans with meaningful employment, hosting job fairs and providing resources to ensure they have the opportunity to participate in the American Dream their sacrifices have made possible.
With almost 1,300 chapters and 1.3 million members across the country, DAV empowers our nation’s heroes and their families by helping to provide the resources they need and ensuring our nation keeps the promises made to them. For more information please visit DAV.org.