Veteran suicide awareness march ends at Husker football game

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A march for an important cause saw its finale today at the Husker’s final football game of the season.

The 324-mile “Things They Carry Ruck March” began on November 16th at Memorial Stadium and went all the way to Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

The march was meant to raise awareness for veteran suicide. Each person walking carried 20 pounds of personal belongings to symbolize the 20 veterans who take their lives every day.

Scott Fredenburg, the president of Ruck-it Up 4Warriors, says that statistic was more than a number to him.

“I lost a buddy to veteran suicide. I deployed to Iraq with him and he took his life in March of 2020,” Fredenburg said.

A ruck refers to the pack that service members carry on their backs.

Members of Ruck-it Up 4Warriors, a veteran suicide awareness group in Lincoln, joined student veterans from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the first 4 ½ days of the trip.

Team Nebraska ruckers took shifts of about 20 miles, carrying the football for the Huskers vs. Hawkeyes game on November 25.

Then, when they reached Freedom Rock in Menlo, Iowa, they passed the game ball off to Team Iowa who carried it for the remainder of the trip.

Fredenburg said the annual march is a great way to bring awareness to such an important cause.

“One thing that people do not understand is that veterans always help veterans,” he said. “But what needs to happen is that the community needs to help the veterans more.”

Fredenburg said this event helps to highlight some resources for veterans and anyone who is considering suicide, like the local VA and Veterans Crisis Line.

He said he gets involved in the walks because he wants people who are considering suicide to feel supported.

“It means a lot as far as knowing what I’m doing helps my veteran friends out there or anyone that has thoughts of suicide that people do listen,” Fredenburg said.

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