The 2018 annual Martha’s Vineyard March for Heroes steps off at 9 am Saturday, May 26, from VFW Post 9261 on Towanticut Avenue in Oak Bluffs.
The event is a 26.2-mile “ruck march” to raise funds in support of Island veterans’ groups. The activity gets its name from rucksacks, which is military-speak for “backpacks.” “Rucking” is marching or walking while wearing your rucksack, which is always loaded down with gear. According to a press release, participants carry up to 30 pounds throughout the marathon-length march to show solidarity with active and veteran service members.
This year funds raised will be distributed evenly to support the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Matthew A. Pucino Foundation. The foundation honors the memory of fallen Green Beret Matthew A. Pucino by providing for the physical and emotional needs of combat-wounded soldiers and their families. The foundation also helps support the Green Beret Foundation, which provides unconventional resources to facilitate the special needs of the wounded, ill, and injured members of the Special Forces community.
Veterans, active military members, law enforcement officers, youth from the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and dedicated civilians will participate in this year’s march, according to the release. Interested marchers and supporters can find information regarding registration and fundraising on the event’s Facebook page, facebook.com/marthasvineyardmarchforheroes.