RENO, Nev. (KBTX) -- Set aside any assumptions about soft, privileged youth taking a break from the classroom, and consider the five men walking single-file along the road near Reno, Nevada. They’re not asking for rides, but they say it does happen.
“Yeah, we have a lot of different people that’ll occasional pull over and they’re usually kind of confused, ‘why would you do this to yourself?’ sort of thing,” said Texas A&M Cadet Sebastian Brown.
Five Texas A&M Corps of Cadets members are spending their winter break raising awareness for those who sacrifice everything for our country.
When someone asks, they explain what they’re doing out there on a cold day, over 1,000 miles from home in Aggieland.
“What we’re doing is a ruck, carrying these ruck packs for a long period of time. We’re doing 1,100 miles in shifts.”
They’re walking from Death Valley to Portland, 20 miles each every day.
“Honestly, it initially starts with a couple blisters. maybe some tendons or your Achilles kind of acts up every once in a while. Other than those nagging pains, it’s something you can push through and stretch it out for the next day,” said Texas A&M Cadet Hunter Birt.
With each step, they’re carrying a message and raising funds for the Special Operations Warriors Foundation. It supports the families of special ops servicemen and women who have given their lives in the line of duty, and helps pay for their children’s college educations.
“With this break, we just thought it’d be a great thing to kind of give back to those that really need it. We’re also kind of challenging ourselves to see where, maybe, where we can push ourselves.”
Last year, the group walked from El Paso to Death Valley in two weeks and raised over $6,500. This year, their goal is $15,000. You can follow the group’s progress by clicking on the link in the ‘Related Links’ section.