It’s a staggering statistic: more Veterans are dying from suicide than active duty on the battlefield. That tragic fact is tearing apart families every single day across our nation. Transition from a war zone to a safe zone is extremely difficult and often lonely. At Havok, we do our best in highlighting the real and raw reality of transitioning out of the military, to not only connect that divide, but to make sure warfighters aren’t alone in their thoughts. We also stand behind credible and excellent non-profits like The Mother of All Rucks Foundation (The MOAR Foundation). The Mother of All Rucks 2018 is composed of four Veterans and one civilian and they are already rucking 2,600 miles from San Diego, California to the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., which started March 10th and will go through mid-June at a pace of 22 miles a day. This cross-country ruck is about Veterans and civilians coming together to help others that served, live life to the very fullest and create a life of purpose.
The team is constantly providing updates on all their social media channels. Click here to follow the ruck.
The Havok Journal had the opportunity to sit down with Paul O’Keefe, Victor Vincelette, JR Conkright, Kelly Altschwager, and Ralph Cook, the entire team behind the Mother of All Rucks Foundation, to get all the details about their 2,600 mile ruck march.
The Havok Journal: What is the Mother of All Rucks?
The MOAR Foundation: The 2,600 mile march itself is symbolic of the often-fraught journey faced by veterans returning from service. The Foundation is about raising money for wounded veterans and raising awareness for the prevention of veteran suicide. Each day, approximately 22 American veterans commit suicide, and we find that number unacceptable. Beyond raising much-needed funds for fellow veterans, we want this coast-to-coast march to show other vets that somebody cares, and that life is worth living. Nobody knows the struggle better than those that have worn the uniform, and we’re encouraging people to come out and ruck with us or meet us at local events along the way.
The Havok Journal: How does Mother of All Rucks make a positive impact on the veteran community? What is the history?
The MOAR Foundation: We are trying to impact the veteran community directly, by raising money to use for individual’s personal needs on a case by case basis. We are remodeling a house of a Purple Heart recipient, who needed better access for his wheelchair, we also just paid for a companion dog to be trained for a soldier with PTSD, and a traumatic brain injury. We are going to continue to help who we can throughout our journey, to create a history of integrity and love, since we are brand new as accompany.
The Havok Journal: How is Mother of All Rucks funded?
The MOAR Foundation: We get our funding directly through donations, 100% of all donations made goes to our mission and our veterans in need. We will not ever take a salary, or use funding for anything outside of our mission!
The Havok Journal: Tell me about the nonprofit attached?
The MOAR Foundation: At the Mother of all Rucks Foundation we value the men and women who have served in the US military and their sacrifices toward the American way of life. We are committed to strengthening the daily existence of suffering veterans by helping to provide a better quality of living, on a personalize and case-by-case basis. We strive to create awareness and inspire others to help our cause in improving the healing of our veteran citizens.
The Havok Journal: When and where is this taking place?
The MOAR Foundation: The coast to coast ruck already started on March 10th. We are currently 66 miles in and will continue to push on for 22 miles a day for the next 3 months. We would like for anyone and everyone to come out and ruck with us or meet us at local events along the way. We will keep our social media updated for specific locations in which we will be at.
The Havok Journal: If someone is interested in participating, donating or meeting up with you along the way, what are the steps that they need take to get involved?
The MOAR Foundation: You may donate directly to the MOAR Foundation, again 100% of the donations go to the mission, you can purchase gear at Mother Rucker USA, based out of Arizona and/or support our entire team on this 2,600 mile ruck at Rally.org.
The Havok Journal: Where can we learn more information about this amazing Mother of All Rucks event and the MOAR Foundation? (Websites, social media etc.)
The Havok Journal: What is the most important thing you’ve learned since this event began?
Anvil – We just started this great journey, and already I’ve been moved to tears several times, helping people that truly need and appreciate it is the most rewarding feeling in life. When fellow warriors ask you over, and over again in amazement, “are you really doing this for me” and you can smile and say, yes we are…there is nothing better.
Kelly – Being the only civilian on the team, this journey, even in its beginning stages, has shown me that any one person can make a difference for our veterans in need. That being said, this has most importantly shown me that if we all band together with action and purpose, we can make a significant difference for our veterans in need.
Victor – Although this journey has just begun, I have learned everyone has something to bring to a team no matter how small. As we traverse across this great nation I hope our dedication, grit, moxie, and intestinal fortitude sets a standard for people to follow. So, we as a foundation, team, and most important a family bring awareness to our cause to help our veteran community.
Ralph — We have just started and are only three days (66 miles) in on the Mother of All Rucks. Our mission is to give back to our Citizen Veterans. But what I have seen from the local communities that we are passing through and the people we stop and talk to are very hospitable. They are giving back to us. From the Border Patrol Officer who bought us a couple Gatorade to the folks over at Lyon Valley Trading Post in Jamul, CA who took us in out of the rain for a night. The Lt. John W. Finn VFW post 2080 who allowed us to come in and get some needed admin work done. These are some things of gratitude people are doing for us for what we are doing. It is truly humbling that people care. I am inspired and motivated by their generosity. I will stay the course and Ruck up and Help a vet until the mission is complete.
JR – This journey has just begun and we personally helped a veteran very close to me not become a statistic to this cause. I know we will continue to assist thousands of veterans along the way and if we can save the life of one veteran then it will be mission complete. The comradery we will build throughout this journey will stay with us all for life and I just hope to continue making a positive impact in our community.
If you or a friend are along their 2,600 mile route- please link up with them and encourage them along the way! Help them achieve their donation goal, send in your photos to us or the team and be sure to spread the word about The Mother of All Rucks. Lead from the front!