Walk being organized to help homeless veterans

| October 27, 2017

WEST LAFAYETTE – Three military veterans are doing their part this year to start an annual event to help homeless veterans.

Brian Hawkins, Chad Elliott and Phil Valdez are working together to organize the first Ruck for Homeless Veterans. The event is set for Friday, Nov. 10 at Ridgewood High School. Check in will be between 7 and 8 a.m. at Ridgewood High School in the parking lot. The walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. when participants start their 8.8 mile journey to Newcomerstown High School.

“We are doing this to raise money and items to help homeless veterans here in Coshocton and then we will try to spread out what we get to help those in surrounding counties,” Hawkins said. “It just all depends on how much we get.”

Those who want to participate in the walk are asked to make a donation when they register.

“There is no set donation fee, but those who do donate that day will get a t-shirt back in return,” Hawkins said.

Donations of sleeping bags, thermal socks, winter hats and gloves also can be brought that day along with hygiene items.

Hawkins said this is the third year he, a Marine veteran, Elliott, an Army veteran, and Valdez, a Marine veteran, have done something in honor of Veterans Day. He is excited to see more people join their cause this year.

“I believe the schools are allowing 25 kids each to participate this year,” Hawkins said. “We are going to have an opening ceremony at Ridgewood. Chad is going to give a speech about the event and why we are doing it. Then the band is supposed to come out and play the national anthem and we will have Army recruiters post the colors.”

Right now they are expecting 100 to 150 people to participate.

“We are hoping to make this an annual event and are in the process of getting our 501(c)(3),” Hawkins said. “I just really want to help veterans. I spent 22 years in the Marines. Once you get out and are in a small community it’s nice to have something to bring people together especially with the schools.”

The walk on Nov. 10 will end at Newcomerstown High School with another guest speaker.

“We just want people to get out and walk and come and have fun,” Hawkins said. “If you don’t want to walk you can still come and donate or take a donation to Chase Bank where Chad, Phil and I have an account set up. A lot of businesses are definitely helping out too. Part of the money raised will help with the t-shirts, but everything else is going to veterans. This is for them.”

Visit the Ruck for Homeless Veterans Facebook page for more information on this event.

Tags: , ,

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

Comments are closed.