Fifty active duty service members and veterans plan to walk 14 miles (22 kilometers) from south Mission Beach to La Jolla, California on Saturday, wearing nothing but their green silkies and combat boots, to raise awareness for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and suicide prevention.
The muscle hunks who organized the walk call themselves the Irreverent Warriors and the number of kilometers (22) they’ll walk and the weight that they’ll carry represents the 22 service members who die from suicide each day.
“Imagine a pub crawl with all your Marine buddies wearing nothing but silkies and rucks on the most crowded and beautiful boardwalk in California. That’s what’s going on here,” the event’s Facebook page says.
KGTV San Diego reports:
Maher broke at least 20 bones, and Loya suffered traumatic brain injury when he was blasted by a 30-pound improvised explosive device and came to at the bottom of a river.
“It’s just a miracle that I lived through that,” Loya said.
They faced another battle back home because they missed serving and missed the brotherhood.
“It was disappointing and depressing,” Maher said.
The two began the Irreverent Warriors to organize events like the walk, with the message that brotherhood will never die.
“In addition to the laughter is the opportunity for guys to open up to each other,” Maher said.
Above all, O’Malley seeks to extend the camaraderie veterans enjoyed while deployed or in garrison beyond their years in uniform. That, he says, goes a long way to keep those who are struggling from feeling so isolated and misunderstood after returning to civilian life that they self-destruct.
Already, attendees include service members from at least five Marine regiments, several school houses, Seal Team 9, explosive ordnance disposal technicians, Coast Guard personnel, Marine Corps Special Operations Command raiders and more, according to the Facebook page.
Watch the service members show their man love for the camera below:
Photo Credit: Irreverent Warriors/Facebook