Forty-five people participated in the second annual Memorial Day Ruck for the Fallen in 2021. This year’s event, which is scheduled for Monday, May 30, leaves the Marble Falls Walmart parking lot at 7:30 a.m. The group will walk to the U.S. 281 bridge and back. Courtesy photo
The third annual Memorial Day Ruck for the Fallen steps off at 8:00 a.m. Monday, May 30, from the Marble Falls Walmart parking lot, 2700 U.S. 281. The 5.2-mile walk will travel south along U.S. 281 to the Colorado River bridge and back.
A “ruck” is walking or jogging with a 35- to 70-pound gear-loaded backpack. The military uses rucks for drills and training for transporting equipment from one spot to another.
Justin Michael, a National Guardsman, who lost a fellow soldier in Iraq in 2007, hosts the event in remembrance of all service members who died in combat.
“We are showing a brotherhood and support for those veterans who did not make it back,” Michael said. “They are not alone, and we want to show that we are remembering them on Memorial Day.”
The first Memorial Day ruck took place in 2017 with 17 people participating. Michael was deployed to Egypt in 2018 and unable to hold it in 2019 due to interfering work responsibilities. The 2020 ruck had to be canceled because of pandemic restrictions.
“Any of us can go over at any time with the possibility of not making it back,” Michael added. “We have lost brothers and sisters in the military and family members.”
Walkers should wear comfortable clothing and shoes, a ruck or backpack with up to 30 pounds of weight, and a canteen, water bottle, or water bladder. The extra weight is not required but suggested. American, POW, and MIA flags are welcome and requested.
The event will happen rain or shine because ruck marches and combat are not guaranteed perfect weather.