A group walked 22 miles across Kleberg County in blazing heat to spread their message of the true meaning of Memorial Day.
“It’s 22 miles, it’s not easy. It’s not a walk in the park,” said Carlos Camacho.
Instead of walking through the park, this group walked from Riviera to Kingsville. As part of the 2nd Annual South Texas Ruckfest, they walked with 25 pound packs. Some heavier.
They walked 22 miles for fallen warriors. The mileage, carefully chosen.
“22 a day is the suicide rate for veterans coming home with PTSD, TBI, and other issues,” said event organizer Gumecindo De La Garza, a veteran marching for a man who tried to save his uncle’s life in Vietnam in 1969. “We wanted to incorporate everything all together because it is Memorial Day.”
About 80 started the ruck, more than 100 finished it. Among them, a group of 15 JROTC Cadets from Corpus Christi’s Richard King High School, who volunteered to walk with their instructor.
“I’m proud of my cadets,” said Camacho, who retired from the U.S. Army last year. “They understood. The ones that volunteered today, they understood the whole meaning of it.”
Camacho was marching for six brothers-in-arms who died while serving in Iraq in 2005. The fact his cadets joined him impressed organizers.
“For them to come out and ruck 22 miles shows a lot of passion, a lot of heart, and a lot of perseverance,” said De La Garza. “They pushed through it.”
Everyone who rucked pushed through because they weren’t walking alone.
“We embrace a little bit of pain and a little bit of sacrifice, but we walk because they can’t,” said De La Garza, echoing the Ruckfest motto.