Ruck march raises PTSD awareness

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Wisconsin Winter Ruck March and Polar Plunge participants included (front row, from left) Matteline Benoit, Scott Kolp, Gunner the dog, Joe Fridley, Herb Raasch, Jake Beiber, Kent Stark, Lloyd Seawright II, Scott MaCallister; (back row) Sarah King, Amanda Peters, Joe Carey, Mandy Jean, David Peters, J.P. Neugerber, Erin Caroline, Dan Borchers, Travis Birr, Sean Dekok, Matt Birr, Dallas Crawford and Brian Kerkow.

By Correne Martin

About 25 individuals participated in the first ever Wisconsin Winter Ruck March and Polar Plunge in Millville Jan. 10.

According to Organizer Kent Stark, of Prairie du Chien, 19 participants finished the six-mile march through Grant County’s hills and bluffs and six plunged into the icy waters of the Wisconsin River at the Millville Boat Landing.

“It was a wonderful turnout. A number of people who’ve battled post-traumatic stress disorder showed up and marched shoulder-to-shoulder with their fellow men,” Stark said. “Plus, we raised awareness and that’s what we set out to do.”

Sponsors of the ruck march and polar plunge included Stark Armament Company, which hosted the event and donated hotel rooms for some of those participating; Stark’s Sport Shop, cheese and refreshments; Bob’s Bar, refreshments; Computer Support Plus, chili and a generator; and Kwik Trip, bananas. T-shirts were provided with the sponsors names on them, which also included Suppz Gym and Key Law Firm. Tri-State Ambulance was on site for the event providing emergency medical services. Finally, Brian Reynolds and Herb Raasch provided a tent, the labor to put it up and heat to keep participants warm.

Following the march, a local effort has sprung up to assist more veterans with PTSD in getting the help they need.

“Twenty-three veterans with PTSD kill themselves each day. We want to keep the efforts going until we bring that number to zero,” Stark added.

For more information, contact Kent Stark at 326-1008 or



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