Illinois Legion leadership to support 20-mile veteran march

The fourth annual Chicago Veterans: Ruck March is May 26, and members of The American Legion Department of Illinois will be volunteering to show their support.

More than 1,500 veterans, their families and military supporters are expected to participate in the event, which raises awareness for PTSD and veteran suicide. Participants will wear a 20-pound ruck sack and walk 20 miles through the streets of Chicago to represent the number of veteran suicides daily, and to honor and remember servicemembers lost at home and on the battlefield.

The event starts at Veterans Memorial Park in Glencoe at 8 a.m. with lunch at Centennial Memorial Park in Evanston. Legionnaires will have a tent at the lunch stop to pass out bananas, water and poppies in honor of the Legion's National Poppy Day on May 26, as well as have a service officer on hand to answer questions and information on Legion membership and other available veteran resources.

Department of Illinois leadership who will be in attendance includes Past National Commander and Department Adjutant Marty Conatser, Assistant Adjutant Gary Jenson and Membership Director Chad Woodburn.

To register or volunteer for the Chicago Veterans: Ruck March, click here.

The event is organized by Chicago Veterans, a nonprofit launched by Legionnaire Kevin Barszcz that "empowers veterans to take control of their transition throughout life." Learn more at