CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Boots hit the ground today for the Second Annual Texas Patriot Ruck March.
Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization and members of the community marched 20 miles in support of First Responders and Veterans.
Participants began the trek this morning at the Warrior Support Center in Robstown. Following an opening ceremony, they rucked all the way to the Coastal Bend State Veterans Cemetery and back.
Le Roy Torres who co-founded Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization says "the national statistics say that the suicide rate is higher than ever in the First Responder community so we want to make a difference here locally and hopefully, nationally."
"We remember those that have paid the price, the ultimate price. And those that are still suffering from invisible wounds, there is a place here at the Warrior Support Center and Burn Pits 360. We're here to assist you however we can." Torres says.
Le Roy Torres and his wife, Rosie, started the organization to advocate for those suffering from deployment related toxic exposures and other mental health issues.
Dozens of people showed up with their backpacks and flags, ready to ruck. Including Juan Soto, who served in the Army for 23 years.
"I have one of my soldiers that just retired and he's doing this ruck march. He has PTSD and he's got some war injuries and we both served in Iraq." Soto says, "We both were there for those burn pits. We're trying to get people to understand what it means and how it's affecting us."
"You know it is very personal because we have a lot of service members that are constantly struggling and battling with mental health." Sergeant Dolores Bocanegra, United States Army, says.
The march was put on with the help of Herrman & Herrman. Proceeds from the event will go toward the Warrior Support Center and Texas DPS Trooper Moises Sanchez and his family. Trooper Sanchez was shot in the head during a traffic stop back in April and is still recovering.
To learn more about Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization and their Warrior Support Center, visit their website at https://www.burnpits360.org/