The Sam Houston State University ROTC and the Veteran Resources Center hosted the 4th annual Carry Their Load Military Ruck March, Saturday at Sam Houston National Park.
The ruck march kicked off at an early 6 a.m., and participants wore backpacks separated into three different weights: 25, 45 and 60 pounds.
The average time that most participants completed the eight-mile ruck march was between one hour thirty minutes and three hours. There were roughly 300 participants in this year’s event. According to event coordinator Staff Sgt. Jacob Bullion that makes it the largest Carry their Load Military Ruck March to date. Participants were a mixture of ROTC, active duty military, state law enforcement, local law enforcement, fire firefighters, civilians and SHSU students.
Bullion has been in charge of the event for the past four years. He was in active duty with the United States Marine Corps for eight years and six years and is now serving with the Army Reserve officer candidate school Texas Army National Guard.
“The event gets better and better every year with organization and coordination,” Bullion said.
Bullion said that the event was created to raise funds and awareness for several different organizations that benefit the veteran’s warrior family support center at the Brook Army Medical Center, Huntsville Fire Department and Walker County Sheriff’s Department.
Lisa Kline, senior psychology major, heard of the event through her accounting class. This was her first time participating in the event. Kline completed the eight mile run in one hour and fifty-six minutes.
“I would definitely return to the event next year, but with different shoes,” Kline said.
SHSU student Specialist Miranda De la Morena, is with the Texas Army National Guard HHC72nd BSTB unit and also participated.
“It was an experience,” De la Morena said. “I didn’t realize Huntsville had quite that many hills until I started ruckin’ them, but it was just another ruck march and I am excited that I finished in a good time.”
De la Morena completed the eight miles while carrying a 50 pound backpack. De la Morena and many others who came to the ruck march were very impressed by the turn out and the community’s show of support for its veterans and law enforcement personnel.
Many different organizations came to help with the event including C.E.R.T (a FEMA organization), the Cub Scout pack from New Caney and several fraternities and sororities from SHSU. These organizations contributed to the event by helping with registration, handing out water along trail and weighing the participants’ backpacks.