I started the #DoYouGiveARuck? organization because I looked around at the young veteran community and saw that the Global War on Terror generation was stagnant and needed support that they were not getting. I had also been out to the homeless camps locally to volunteer and saw the needs of the homeless and also noticed how many homeless were veterans. The families that I saw had children and lived in similar conditions to what I had seen over in Iraq.
As a veteran who has PTSD I have been down some pretty rough roads. I know how hard it is for veterans, especially when they first get out of the military and I don’t want them to take the same rough roads I went down. I have also been homeless a few times in my life and I know how difficult that can be when you are worried about where you will sleep or were your next meal will come from. Everyone needs the basic essentials in life and even though I don’t have a lot of money and still struggle myself sometimes, I wanted to help.
The idea of a ruck march to raise awareness and money for veterans while at the same time collecting food and other supplies for the less fortunate in the community came to me. The march gets veterans engaged with the community, it gets the community understanding that veterans are normal people who just happened to face some very extraordinary situations and it helps a community divided to pull together and treat each other like humans regardless of where they are in life.– Jimmy Lee Jackson