Operation Iron Ruck

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Operation Iron Ruck

A great event that I am headed down to:

While most students spend their Thanksgiving break munching on delicious food and sharing time with their families, several University of Alabama students will be marching across the state.

Some 80 students and support personnel from UA’s Campus Veterans Association and Auburn’s Student Veterans Association will be marching from Bryant-Denny Stadium to Jordan-Hare Stadium to raise awareness to veteran suicides and support to Mission 22, a national veteran suicide campaign. The march is called Operation Iron Ruck.

“Operation Iron Ruck is a 151-mile ruck march from Bryant-Denny Stadium to Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn,” Slade Salmon, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and junior operations management major who serves as the president of UA’s Campus Veterans Association, said in a press release. “It’s going to take about three days. Last year, it took us 73 hours.”


During the three-day trip, which starts on Nov. 27, each student-veteran will walk about 50 miles. After walking for over two hours, they will hop into a support vehicle for about five hours of rest before their next hiking shift. Each student veteran will carry 22 pounds of donations in their rucksack for the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City, Alabama and Three Hots and a Cot, an organization that assists homeless veterans.

The Legion is playing a very active role in the event as well.  Both schools are homes to Legion Posts and Legionnaires that will be taking part, and the Department of Alabama is also helping out with logistics and planning.

The three main goals of the event are to:

1. Raise awareness about the issue of Veteran Suicide.
2. Engage local communities to support their respective veteran organizations.
3. Assist the student by encouraging local communities to provide financial support as well as food, hygiene products and fuel cards that will be donated to local organizations helping veterans.

Some video from last year:

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.