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150-kilometre ruck walk raising money for homeless vets rolls through Guelph

Members of Ruck 2 Remember stop in Guelph during their annual 150-kilometre Road 2 Recovery event on Friday afternoon. Matt Carty / Global Guelph

A four-day, 150-kilometre ruck walk in support of homeless veterans rolled through Guelph on Friday afternoon.

Ruck 2 Remember is a non-profit organization and they were in the middle of their sixth annual Road 2 Recovery event when they stopped at the Royal Canadian Legion on Watson Parkway.

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The group was escorted by Guelph police along with a tank and were greeted by a large group, including members of the Guelph Fire Department.

The distance they walk every year has a significant meaning.

“Every year we go and find how many veterans and first responders died the year before and then we do two kilometres for each one who died,” the organization’s founder Lino Di Julio said.

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He said there were 74 deaths last year, meaning they had to cover at least 148 kilometres.

Friday was day two of the walk that sees the group walk from Port Credit to Georgetown and then onto Guelph and Flamborough before finishing in Burlington.

Every year the route has been different and this year, for the first time, they will be doing a second walk in Manitoba later this month.

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Ruck 2 Remember and their Road 2 Recovery event isn’t for the faint of heart.

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“A ruck is basically a rucksack,” Di Julio said. “The rule of thumb for the team is you carry everything you’re going to need for the four days. So your sleeping roll, your sleeping mat, whatever clothes you’re going to have.”

He said the rucksacks are usually an extra 50 pounds to carry.

All of the money raised goes to a program called Operation: Leave The Streets Behind. It’s a charity organized by the Legion that helps get veterans off the streets.

Di Julio said they have already raised $25,000 this year.

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“People have been really generous, the Legions usually donate as well, people on the road will donate and we have online fundraiser as well,” he said.

More information on the organization and the charity can be found online.

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