Updated: March 19, 2021 09:49 PM
Created: March 19, 2021 08:17 PM
Next weekend will be Mark Overlie's first Nearly Naked Ruck March.
The annual event for 23rd Veteran was virtual in 2020, and volunteers and vets are looking forward to marching together in 2021.
Overlie served three years in the Army, including a deployment to an area along the border of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
He recently completed 23rd Veteran's 23V Recon program, a 14-week journey that involves fitness, positive psychology and outdoor wellness. As part of his program, he traveled to Alaska with the group.
"I got out of it my wife telling me, 'You finally found your people,'" Overlie said. "It really is true. Everybody, we couldn't be more different from each other. But we're all the same."
The Ruck March supports that. People will put on long underwear and sling a pack on their back filled with food and clothes to be donated at the finish line. All the money will stay with the Duluth 23V Recon program.
"We could call this Ruck March one of our programs. There's so much feel good happening," 23rd Veteran Founder Mike Waldron said.
That's the mission for 23rd Veteran: to help vets live happier, healthier lives.
"Something very unique about 23rd Veteran is we're focusing on retraining our memory to relate negative triggers from the military to new positive events," Waldron explained.
The Nearly Naked Ruck March is Saturday, March 27 on the Enger loop of Skyline Parkway. There will be staggered start times and only 250 people on the course at any one time. Registration is $39.
Most people fundraise beyond that, and this year, a donor will match up to $75,000 of fundraising.
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