Members of the D-M community participated in the annual Rucking for Vets event at the Colossal Cave Mountain Park in Vail, Arizona, May 11.
Rucking for Vets is a grass roots effort led by local D-M Airmen. The goal is to raise money in support of the Wounded Warrior Project.
The event consisted of over 250 Airmen and participants rucking six miles through rough terrain with a backpack weighing at least 25 pounds. The participants had the option of choosing between a 25, 45, or 65 pound backpack. This is the first year that the weight in the backpacks was a mix of donated canned goods.
After the ruck, the food was donated to the Tucson Community Food Bank. More than 1,140 pounds of food and $2,500 were collected.
All the money goes towards wounded veteran’s rehabilitation. The Wounded Warrior Project has three main focuses: rehabilitating the body, the mind, and the spirit.
“We are honoring those that went before us and showing them we remember those who have served in the past and present,” said Tech Sgt. Jennifer Hidle, 355th Maintenance Operations Squadron. “We don’t have to wait until Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day. We can come out and enjoy the scenery and build camaraderie in a great event put together by those who serve now and those who served before us.”
Raytheon, Team Red, White and Blue – Tucson and the Green Knights military motorcycle club all worked with D-M Airmen to put this event together. The different groups provided refreshments and food for the participants, after they completed the hike.
“I wanted to participate this year because I’ve had some experience while down-range with people getting hurt, and I wanted to support them,” said Senior Airman Kyle Hutchens, 355th Civil Engineering Squadron engineering assistant.
The following teams and individuals were the first to complete the hike in their weight class.
25 pounds competitive individual: Al Herrera with a time of 1:00:20
25 pounds competitive team: 355th Medical Group with a time of 1:40:01
45 pounds competitive individual: Robert Williams, 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron, with a time of 1:48:19
45 pounds competitive team: 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle ops with a time of 1:41:02
65 pounds competitive individual: Kyle Hutchens, 355th Civil Engineering Squadron, with a time of 1:31:06
65 pounds competitive team: team Slater with a time of 1:28:16