March for Heroes this weekend

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The 2019 annual Martha’s Vineyard March for Heroes steps off at 9 am Saturday, June 1, from the American Legion on William Street in Vineyard Haven, and will follow a new route this year that will end at VFW Post 9261 on Towanticut Avenue in Oak Bluffs at approximately 5 pm.

Martha’s Vineyard March for Heroes is a 26.2-mile ruck march to raise funds in support of local veterans’ groups. The activity gets its name from rucksacks, which is military-speak for “backpack.” “Rucking” is marching or walking while wearing your rucksack (which is always loaded down with gear). Participants carry up to 30 pounds throughout the marathon-length march to show solidarity with our active and veteran service members.

This year the March for Heroes endeavor will support veteran outreach programs on the Island. According to a press release, funds raised will be distributed evenly to support the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Matthew A. Pucino Foundation, an organization that 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 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. The release states, “It is an exhausting but rewarding experience that demonstrates our community’s commitment to supporting veterans in need.” Interested marchers and supporters can find information regarding registration and fundraising on the event’s Facebook page at facebook.com/marthasvineyardmarchforheroes/.