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Rucking for Mental Wellness

An inaugural Ruck for Mental Wellness will be held Saturday, June 25 with the purpose of raising funds and awareness about mental wellness among veterans and first responders. Courtesy photo

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An inaugural Ruck for Mental Wellness event will be held this Saturday, June 25. The event will benefit the Permission to Start Dreaming Foundation (PTSD) and is hosted by the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Brewing Company in DuPont.

The idea for the event came about one Friday evening at the FOB Brewing Company. Army veteran and Permission to Start Dreaming (PTSD) board member Ron O'Ferrall pitched the idea to DuPont City Councilmember Kevin Ballard, FOB Brewing Company's owner Jarod Wharton, and a few others.

"Being a board member with the PTSD Foundation and knowing that the Warrior PATHH needed to be integrated in our community, I figured we could bring the veteran community together and see where it can go," explained O'Ferrall. "We hatched the plan, and here we are."

The foundation provides transformative training and programs to support local veterans and first responders in the Pacific Northwest experiencing the ravages of Posttraumatic Stress (PTS). The programs are designed to cultivate and facilitate Posttraumatic Growth (PTG).

The foundation offers hope and healing through monthly huddles, workshops, and the opportunity to participate in groundbreaking and innovative training through Warrior PATHH (Progressive and Alternative Training for Healing Heroes).

Warrior PATHH is an 18-month program that begins with an intensive and immersive seven-day initiation that enables veterans and first responders struggling with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder to transform their struggle into a sense of growth and strength.

"One hundred percent of all proceeds raised by this event are donated to the PTSD Foundation, which in turn supports Warrior PATHH," explained O'Ferrall.

The Ruck for Mental Wellness stages at the FOB Brewing Company at 8 a.m. Ruckers can choose to cover either a seven or a 12-mile course; weight carried can be as little or as much as they like. The event is conducted on the trail system within the City of DuPont.

"Mental Health is not just a trending topic but one that truly needs to be addressed, discussed and normalized with the resources that allow for the healing which leads to mental wellness," said O'Ferrall.

"The more we talk about it as a community, the more we act on true solutions with meaningful outcomes, the more resilient we become as a society, the more will we be able to withstand the stressors that lead to depression, anxiety, self-doubt or suicide."

When reminded that in 1948 World War II Army veteran Earl Shaffer rucked the Appalachian Trail in order "to walk the war out of my system." O'Ferrall wholeheartedly agreed.

"The more we talk about it as a community, the more we enact meaningful outcomes ... and provide solid resources right down the road."

To register for and/or donate to the event, visit

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