They say you should never judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes.  That's part of the design behind a brand-new event in the Twin Ports area that aims to increase awareness for veterans issues and raise funding.

Saturday, February 27 is the date of the first-ever Nearly Naked Ruck March - along Duluth's Lakewalk - starting at 9 AM.  Participants will hike 4.5 miles with weighted packs - wearing nothing but boots, hats, gloves, and long underwear.

23rd Veteran is a local organization that aims to better the chances of returning veterans as they assimilate back into society.  According to their website, 23rd Veteran defines their mission this way:

Every day, 22 veterans decided to commit suicide.  The 23rd Veteran decided not to.  23rd Veteran's mission is to empower veterans with PTSD to lead successful, meaningful lives.

Prior to the Nearly Naked Ruck March, 23rd Veteran has held different events all aimed at fundraising and awareness.  Those past events have included climbing, rebuilding a World War II military jeep, retreats to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, hunting and fishing opportunities, and physical fitness activities in the Twin Ports.

In addition the organization has spent its funds on veteran-issues by providing consideration to events like the Minnesota Mental Health Conference, Cloquet Armory; Congressman Nolan’s Veteran Round Table, programs at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

To get registered for this event and to learn more about the 23rd Veteran, click here.




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