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Shepherd’s Men Host Ruck Fundraiser and Celebration

March 4, 2016

Shepherd's Men 1On Saturday, March 5, the Shepherd’s Men—a team of active-duty American servicemen, veterans and civilians dedicated to helping provide treatment for veterans suffering from Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)—invite everyone in the community to join them as they host the Shepherd’s Men Ruck Fundraiser and Celebration.

The event will raise money and awareness for the growing number of veterans suffering from TBI and PTSD, the most common injuries affecting returning troops since 2001. One hundred percent of the funds raised goes directly to the SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center, the only private program of its kind in the country dedicated to these types of injuries.

The fundraiser is based on “rucking”, a new social fitness movement that includes hiking as a team while carrying a weighted backpack. The ruck starts and ends at Williamson Bros. BAR-B-Q in Marietta from 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. followed by a Ruck Celebration from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the restaurant.

The ruck ticket ($101) includes participation in the ruck event, admission to the celebration at Williamson Bros. BAR-B-Q afterwards—including awesome BBQ, beer and live music—and a limited edition Shepherd’s Men patch, poker chip and commemorative pint glass. For those who are unable to participate in the ruck, celebration tickets are available for $22 each and include BBQ, beer and live music, and a commemorative Shepherd’s Men pint glass. Tickets are available at the event or may be purchased in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/shepherds-men-ruck-fundraiser-tickets-21069035051.Shepherd's Men Training 2

The Shepherd’s Men will wear 22 lb. flak vests and carry 22 lb. backpacks, symbolically representing the 22 American veterans who commit suicide every day. Participants are encouraged to do the same, but it’s not a requirement. If ruckers are unable to carry 22 lbs. in their backpacks, they are encouraged to consider carrying less weight. They should also bring water and snacks in their backpacks, or use camelback water packs.

Travis Ellis, co-founder of the Shepherd’s Men, is excited about the upcoming event. “We want everyone who can participate to be a part of the ruck and celebration,” said Ellis. “We are in this together to help heal the soldiers who put their lives on the line every day for our freedoms. We owe it to them to help share the burden that they still carry.”

As they hike their way by landmarks in historic Marietta areas such as the Marietta National Cemetery, ruckers will stop at various locations along the route to listen to SHARE program clients tell their personal stories about the impact that the program has had on them and their families’ lives. Ruckers will also have the opportunity to hear from the SHARE Military Initiative program manager and medical director. The goal is to learn what the SHARE Military Initiative is and how it is saving veterans’ lives, while getting fit as a team.

Shepherd's Men Training 6The SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center was founded to save the lives of service members with neurotrama through innovative research and treatment. Of the more than 294,000 returning Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers, one in five need treatment for the devastating conditions treated by the SHARE. Though undetectable visually, TBI and PTSD devastate service members and the families who suffer with them, often leading to broken homes and suicide. Department of Defense statistics show that 22 American veterans commit suicide every day.

To find out more about the Shepherd’s Men and SHARE, visit www.shepherdsmen.com

 SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center

SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center is a comprehensive rehabilitation program that focuses on assessment and treatment for service men and women who have sustained a mild to moderate TBI and PTSD from the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.

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