Wednesday, January 6, 2016

For Those About To Ruck

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

If it was easy, then young Vic Wise likely would not undertake this particular endeavor, which has become a rite of January for him since he first set off on this journey in January, 2014.  Well, perhaps he would if for no other reason than his is a higher purpose.  He does what he does not for himself but for others.  He does what he does for the Navy Seal Foundation.

Those of us older than a certain age in this country engage in the practice of ageism.  And we likely do it far more frequently than we might otherwise suspect we do.  It has become almost a reflexive exercise, the dismissal of all of those whose dates of birth fall on or after a certain date as being frivolous, foolhardy, or - worst of all - Kardashians.  In my experience, painting in such broad strokes is not only short-sighted, it is intellectually sloppy.  People composed of mere gossamer can be found in any age-based demographic, including that dominated by those of us with gray hair and craggy faces.  I know more "young people" than I can count who are people of substance and purpose.  

Vic Wise is firmly ensconced on that list.  A young man who honors not only his own family's tradition of service (he is the son of a retired First Sergeant who served in Operation Enduring Freedom) but that of the Seals, including not merely the men who voluntarily run headlong into harm's way but their families.  Theirs is a remarkable, selfless mission.  

On Friday morning, Vic Wise and his two fellow ruckers, Alex Miller and Randy Sulcer, will each hoist a ruck weighing more than fifty pounds over his shoulders and onto his back and, then, go for a little walk.  At 7:30 a.m. they will embark from the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond and begin walking north on U.S. Route 1.  Their objective is to make it to Arlington National Cemetery, a distance of more than one hundred miles, in less than forty-eight hours.  Do not bet against Vic and his wing men achieving their objective.  In 2014, When he took this challenge on for the first time in 2014, he battled weather more suitable for rounding up matching pairs of animals than it was for walking one hundred miles carrying a fifty-plus pound pack on his back for most of, if not all of, his trek.  It did not stop him.    

It is Emerson who observed that, "So nigh is grandeur to your dust, so near to God is Man, when Duty whispers low, 'Thou must', the Youth replies, 'I can'."   

On Friday morning, at 7:30 Eastern Time, he shall do so again.  

Let Freedom Ruck.


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