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    The Ruck 2 Remember group starts their long journey, beginning their 160 km trek at the Royal Canadian Legion on Sept. 13. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

  • ../../../images/Article_pics/October2018/october4/ruck2remember/images/IMG_1718.jpg

    The Ruck 2 Remember group starts their long journey, beginning their 160 km trek at the Royal Canadian Legion on Sept. 13. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)



Ruck 2 Remember raises funds for homeless veterans

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday October 4, 2018

For every veteran and front-line responder lost in the last year, Lino De Julio and his Ruck 2 Remember team will be marching two kms, for a total of 160 km.

“Remembrance Day is great when Nov. 11 comes and we have great solemn ceremonies,” said De Julio. “But I think it is important to remember all the time that these guys are out there doing work keeping us safe.”

With that in mind, they left the Royal Canadian Legion in Petawawa on Thursday, Sept. 13 and expected to finish their long 5th annual Road to Recovery march in Kanata by Sunday. The core group of walkers is comprised of seven people, both civilian and former military. They were joined for the first five kms by a group of 2 Military Police Regiment (2 MP Regt) members. “We wanted to come out and show our support,” said 2 MP Regt Commanding Officer Lieutenant (Navy) Karen Sibrian.

“I don’t think that a lot of people are aware of the dangers that our members get exposed to and sometimes that does lead to unfortunate events that cause us to lose members of our emergency response family,” she added. “And it is a reminder to our own members that the dangers are there and we need to support our fellow members at every opportunity.”

It is the first year that the military was officially involved and 4th Canadian Division Support Base (4 CDSB) Personnel Services (Pers Svcs) Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Darcy Wright and 4 CDSB Pers Svcs Regimental Sergeant Major Master Warrant Officer Kim Pyke were also on hand at the departure to offer their support.

Both were impressed by the Ruck 2 Remember team’s primary focus of helping veterans and First Responders. De Julio founded Ruck 2 Remember to help military members and First Responders affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It had always been his dream to join the military, but his epilepsy disqualified him from applying.

Still wanting to give back to his country and to those who serve, he created the organization and its annual march.

The first march started from Hamilton, Ont. to Parry Sound, Ont. with participants carrying 158 bricks to signify each soldier lost. The fundraising walk not only raises awareness for those suffering from PTSD but also raises money to get homeless veterans off the streets and into homes.

The exact number of homeless veterans is hard to ascertain as most do not turn to shelters. Official numbers hover at around 3,000, but VETS Canada believes that statistic is closer to 10,000.

Before even stepping off, the team raised $10,000 for homeless veterans, and more is sure to come. It will be given to the Royal Canadian Legion so that they may disburse it through their Operation: Leave the Streets Behind program.

“The Legion is really good at showing us where the money goes,” said De Julio. “The literal items that they bought for vets, the units that they are paying rent for and all those kinds of things.”

The chase vehicle was donated by Chrysler Arnprior.