Veterans came together to complete the Silkies Hike, a 22km veterans Hike/Pub crawl throughout Tallahassee area in silkies Saturday, to raise awareness on PTSD.
Irreverent Warriors, organize Silkies Hike to effectively help soldiers who commit suicide everyday due to PTSD.
Silkies, also known as military issued boxers, was the uniform soldiers wore throughout the event.
Veterans began their journey at West Pensacola Street parking garage 6, they carried 22 pounds on their backs to feel nostalgia of the time they served in military.
Retired Infantry Veteran, Kristofer Ettman, came out to support his fellow brother at arms and just have a good time.
“I have been involved with veteran’s activities ever since I got out,” Ettman said. “Soon as I left active duty, I got involved with my local collegiate veterans association at my junior college.”
Ettman explains the meaning behind his involvement with veterans.
“Ever since then, I try be involved in as many veterans organizations as I can, because after getting out of the military, you don’t have as many opportunities to be with the people you have been surrounded by for the last couple of years. It’s more of a camaraderie thing,” Ettman said.
This event was just one of the many Silkies Hike put on throughout the country. Their motto is “put the gun back on safe, put it back on the nightstand, and stick around a bit longer”.
Chelsea Moore, the event coordinator, was inspired to host this event after attending one in Tampa, Fla., For Moore, the event was more than just a hike for soldiers, but a call to action.
“It just struck me, because my stepdad is a retired navy seal and he served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Desert Storm. Moore said. “PTSD and the military run close to me. Like I said, as soon as I saw this, I knew I needed to be apart of it.” Among the laughter, beer and fun not one person was able to forget the reason why they were there. Shedding light on a silent killer was purpose of the event. Brothers at arms helping each other out to fight a battle that no one else understands.
Veteran Nathaniel Boler, expressed what he want civilians to learn from this event.
“We are doing it for us. When we help each other out, we know what we need. VA (Veterans Affairs) just isn’t. It’s ran by civilians, so they don’t always know what we need. We will help ourselves and in helping ourselves,we will be helping the community.”
The event allowed veterans that the brotherhood that will never die.
To find out more information about the Silkies Hikes and Irreverent Warriors they can be contacted through their website http://www.irreverentwarriors.com.