Press Release

Service Members Complete 100-Mile Ruck March for Veterans

VFW Post Members March in Honor of VFW Veterans Marching proudly for days to honor service members.

Veterans of Foreign Wars New Stories
July 27, 2011

In late July, 2011, three members of VFW Post 9534 demonstrated their commitment and determination to honor their post and fellow veterans by completing the 100+ mile-long ruck march held annually in the city of Nijmegen in Holland. For over 100 years now, the “Walk of the World” has brought military members from more than 40 nations around the world together for one week in a common cause… Endurance, competition and friendship.

Team VFW Mannheim was comprised of Post members, AJ Powell, Don Nottingham and Brian Amitrano. They had decided to do the march and to carry the VFW Department of Europe, District 1 Department of Europe, and VFW Post 9534 Mannheim Europe flags during the Nijmegen Four Days March to show their support for all Veterans past and present.

During the training phase of the team’s preparations, the VFW Department of Europe’s Convention kicked off where the team had the pleasure of meeting with VFW Junior vice Commander-in-Chief, John Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton’s visit to the 9534 Post Home helped to further inspire the team to complete the march on behalf of the entire VFW to show support for all veterans. The team made a pact, “never give up, never quit, leave no man behind.”

Their first night ended with dinner and a briefing by the Small Contingents Liaison about what to expect for the next four days. Tensions ran high that night as the temperatures dropped, music was loud, cheers were abundant and no one could sleep in anticipation of what was to come.

The first day started at 0230 as “Wake up Call” played loudly over the camp’s loud speakers. After breakfast they were given the command “Forward March!” The marching bands played vigorously as the teams began on their four-day journey.

The march was difficult, the days were long, muscles cramped and tiredness set in, but they had made a pact and were determined to live up to it. Every step of the way, the team pushed through the difficulties and challenges facing them all the while keeping each other’s morale high.

On the fourth day, and final day, they hoisted the flags they had carried on their respective poles and carried them proudly through the final parade, where more than 500,000 people watched more than 50,000 marchers make it through to the finish line.

With blisters on their feet and down to their last pair of dry socks, they finally reached the finish line. Greeted with roaring cheers, hugs and high fives, they completed the march with half an hour to spare, knowing they had marched for the right reason, to honor all service members.

Original story can be found here:

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