BURNET — For several hours Nov. 9, civilians and military members will take to the field in a series of traditional competitions, including tug-of-war, tomahawk throwing and even spear tossing.
At most events such as this, you’d expect civilians and military members to face each other.
Reveille Call organizers decided to go in a different direction, one that gets the two communities stepping across the invisible line that often separates them.
“We’re going to have 100 teams out there competing with 10 members each,” said Ashley Kamrath of Reveille Call. “But the difference is how we make the teams up. Each team will include five civilians and five military members or first responders. What we want is to help those two communities come together, especially in a way it supports the military.”
Reveille Call takes place at Reveille Peak Ranch, 105 CR 114 in Burnet. The program starts at 10 a.m. with traditional games followed by a formal opening ceremony at 11:11 a.m. Kamrath pointed out the 11:11 comes from the end of World War 1, which started as part of the Armistice of Compiegne at 11 a.m. Nov. 11, 1918.
Reveille Call also serves as a way for residents to mark Veterans Day, which is officially Nov. 11.
Along with the traditional games, during which teams compete for points, everybody is invited to participate in the 11-mile march to honor veterans and military members. But if 11 miles seem a bit daunting, Kamrath said that’s OK, just walk or hike as far as you want. The idea is to just get involved, she explained.
As for the overall reason behind the event, it goes beyond honoring veterans.
“With 22 veterans committing suicide just about every day, it’s our duty as citizens to do something about it,” Kamrath said. “Something like Reveille Call won’t fix the problem, but it will help curb some of the tragedy.”
The hope is that by competing together, civilians and military members will also make connections. Members of the military often feel isolated after returning from overseas or leaving the service. They don’t know who to turn to because, besides other military members, nobody really knows what they’ve experienced. And while an event such as Reveille Call doesn’t give civilians insight into those experiences, it gives military and civilians a chance for some camaraderie and teamwork.
“It’s a start,” Kamrath said. “You think about all (military and first responders) deal with in their typical daily lives such as paying bills, getting kids to school, but then you throw in deployments and combat. It’s just a lot more than most of us ever face. But (Reveille Call) is a way to build those social networks for military and civilians.”
The team events include a 5K run, an obstacle course, tomahawk throwing, tug-of-war, mag loading (loading a firearm magazine), breeching a door/dummy drag, knife throwing, spear tossing and hand grenade tossing (not real ones.)
Each team will consist of five company employers, friends or family with the other five made up of military, veterans or first responders. The entry fee is $1,000 per team and includes sponsoring the five first responders/military members.
Teams can fundraise for the entry fee. But Kamrath said several businesses and companies have stepped up and covered the entry fees for their participants as well as the military members and/or first responders.
Proceeds from the event will go to support local charities that benefit military and first-responder organizations.
“The whole idea stemmed from the question, ‘What can we do to get veterans and civilians off the couch and doing something together?’” Kamrath said. “Now, we have these two worlds coming together to compete with each other for one goal. I can’t wait to hear the stories that come out of this.”
Go to www.reveillecall.com to register or for more information.