HARRINGTON – Local students are doing their part to help veterans dealing with PTSD and fight against suicide.
To raise awareness about veteran suicides, students from Narraguagus Jr./Sr. High School took part in the Dustin J. Hadfield Memorial Weighted Ruck March.
The ruck march was created in the memory of Dustin J Hadfield, a veteran of the US Air Force who died unexpectedly on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 in Lewiston.
Eight students, including Lanie Perry and Nicholas Matthews, walked almost two miles down from the high school over to Bigelow Field and back with military-style rucksacks, estimated at 30 lbs.
“It was just a super memorable experience and you know it was for a good cause. You don’t get to do it every day and once we finished you feel super accomplished and you feel very honored to be able to do it,” Perry, a senior student said.
Teacher and ruck march organizer Myra Berry is grateful the kids participated on the journey.
“I’m incredibly proud of their willingness to do this. It’s not an easy thing, as you’ve seen today. It’s an emotional experience its a physically grueling experience and to say that I’m proud of them is a huge understatement,” Berry said.
The students each had personal reasons to walk the walk.
“It’s important for me because they’ve done so much for me and this is just a small way I can give back for them, honor their memory, honor their lives and their service. It’s just one simple thing I can do,” Matthews said.
And making the veterans happy is all the students can ask for.
“I feel great that this may help veterans seek help, it may help them fight for what they want. It’s just a great feeling to put smiles on their faces when they’ve protected this country and served for me to put a smile on my face,” Matthews said.