TEMPLE, Texas — As some people prepare to celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, some local veterans and active duty military members "rucked" for a good cause on Saturday.
Not only is the Rucks on Main an event commemorated to remembering those who lost their lives serving the United States, but the directors board for the event paired up with Operation Feeding Temple to add an extra element to the run.
"I'm part of the first medical brigade, and our community has been partnered with Temple for many, many years, " said Colonel Nate Forrester. "It also really touches the heart to see how much support we get from Fort Hood and other surrounding communities."
Forrester says there are so many people rucking for so many different reasons, but above all, the biggest theme is remembrance.
Jason Deckman, a member of the directors board for Rucks on Main, who also served, reiterated that sentiment.
"Remember the men and women that we've lost people that we serve with friends that I know that I wish were here today," said Deckman. "I'd love to be able to share this this moment with them."
Many who rucked on Saturday said it's a blessing to be able to combine remembrance with a good cause. Running with canned goods in their rucks that would be donated to the food pantries run by Operation Feeding Temple.
Tom Henderson, the non-profit's treasurer, said it's especially important because a lot of veterans struggle with food insecurity, so combining the Rucks on Main 10K with his organization checks a lot more boxes.
"Our pantries provide food and we gladly do so because we want everybody to have an opportunity," Henderson said. "And to make sure that trying to take care of food needs is not part of their burden as they transition back into the community."
Even the little ones were in attendance today running alongside the active duty members and vets.
Lisa Kelly and her daughter Liv participated together and they both say this event is special for the both of them. It's one they're always looking forward to doing.
"You know, there are just so many incredible people that we think of I couldn't even narrow it down to one or two," Lisa Kelly told 6 News. "We try to remember so many."
I asked Liv how fun it is to run alongside her mom. "Pretty cool," she told 6 News. "I knew that she was gonna come out because she pretty much always does."
The event organizers hope that the event becomes even bigger in the future. Today over 100 participants took part, but they say they can do even better.
But most importantly, remembering why they ruck, is the most important thing.
"While you should take a moment to have a have a quiet thought for folks that did not make it back," said Deckman. "Don't let that hold you back from celebrating the freedoms we have in this country. I know if I had some of my guys with me, we'd be drinking and throwing horseshoes."