“We bring veterans together using humor and camaraderie to improve mental health and prevent veteran suicide.”
A simple motto. However, these are the principles that governs the Irreverent Warriors. If you have not heard of the group, surely you’ve heard of a silkies hike? A voluntary ruck march conducted by individuals wearing military style gym shorts. Undoubtedly, this draws the attention of every bystander, and as a result, attention is brought to veteran suicide.
Who are these Irreverent Warriors?
They are a group of dedicated patriots, who come together all across the country. Local engagement teams coordinate with local officials to plan a route. They select various rest stops, to include parks, scenic views and bars. Veterans are invited to attend and mingle with new friends(The organizers assure that COVID-19 precautions will be taken). Then the group marches the designated route together. Thus, fostering local camaraderie. The organization has stated “Irreverent Warriors are the men and women who have been prepared to kill and die for our country. We have laughed in the face of death, dismemberment, and the enemies of the United States.”
The hikers generally carry a ruck sack, and some even carry flags. There are no strict uniform requirements, just don’t break any laws. Some wear old uniform items, and others go shirtless. The point is to have fun!
What is their mission?
To prevent veteran suicide. Period.
Similarly, they have expressed “The connections and bonds made at our events allow veterans to create their own support network solving the most crucial issue contributing to veteran suicide; isolation. Eliminate isolation, and we’ll eliminate suicide.”
Silkies Across America
In addition to the dozens of events conducted across the country, there is an even bigger event. Silkies Across America will span across 5 cities. Simultaneously, setting into action an huge gathering of likeminded veterans. The cities include: Virginia Beach, Oceanside, Memphis and Chicago. If you wish to attend one of these events, click here.
Don’t stress if those cities are too far away! The same link will lead you to a full list of upcoming events. Furthermore, their Facebook page can be viewed by clicking here. You can see pictures, and read testimonials. Also, their website is available here. You can even grab your own pair of silkies.
American Grit will be attending and covering these events. We certainly hope to see you there!