On August 14th, over 70 veteran hikers and dedicated volunteers gathered in Charlotte, NC to hike for the Irreverent Warrior cause - prevent Veteran suicide through connection, camaraderie, and humor.
VET Tv is the proud National Sponsor for Irreverent Warriors in 2021. In addition to a $25,000 donation matching initiative, every ticket to an IW Silkies Hike comes with a free month subscription to VET Tv. REDEEM yours using code 2021CHARLOTTE.
The hike route took hikers through some of Charlotte's best sights, starting in one of its shady wooded areas and ending near the tower skyscrapers that encompass the metropolitan area of the city. Along the way, we had stops at a few great local landmarks like Connolly's on Fifth (for a fully catered AMAZING lunch), The Local and Wooden Robot Brewery. Every year, these stops deliver the best hospitality and add to the spirit of the hike in such a big way.
This hike has a yearly tradition of tug-o-war of the branches - and it was clearly one of the highlights of this year's hike.
Last year's champions were Army, this year the Marines topped the competition. We're looking forward to see who will come out on top in 2022!
"A breath of fresh air when times have seemed the hardest."
The mission of every IW hike is the same – prevent veteran suicide by bringing vets together with humor and camaraderie. This hike was the perfect representation of that mission.
This year's hike was particularly special, as many of the friendships made in 2020 were not able to flourish due to the ongoing pandemic. This year's hike proved to be an opportunity for local veterans who had been in isolation to connect with other veterans, and for those who had not seen each other in a long time to reconnect and have time to catch up.
Thank you to all the local businesses and individuals who provided generous donations, hosted us for stops along the hike, or were there with us at step-off to support the cause!
The Local - for hosting us on one of our route stops
Wooden Robot - for their incredible hospitality and providing hikers our own space to cool down from the heat
Connolly's - for not only hosting us for our lunch stop, but also providing every single hiker and volunteer with a meal
Sponsors & Donors
This hike would not have been possible without our other amazing sponsors. You ready for this list?!
Veteran Television (VET Tv) - our National Presenting Sponsor this year who donated Free Silkies to giveaway at the hike, and handed out a free month of VET Tv (seriously, did you redeem yours yet?? 2021CHARLOTTE) to every hiker.
Who Made it Possible
Angel Rodriquez (USMC)- Lead Coordinator
Walker Watts (Army)
Every member of this team was integral to the mission of making the hike what it was this year. With a combination of prior knowledge and an undying willingness to help the veteran community, this small but mighty team certainly delivered on hike day. Hats off to each of you!
JOIN THE DEBAUCHERY
The Charlotte Team is planning a 2022 hike, of course, but behind the scenes, the crew is working to put together events throughout the rest of the year that will foster the atmosphere of camaraderie and fun we want to keep growing. We don't want to make short-term friendships at the hikes, but rather lifelong connections that last.
We're planning an even bigger and better hike in San Jose next year. If you're looking to get involved, reach out via the IW- Charlotte Facebook page, or reach out to lead coordinator Angel Rodriguez directly at email@example.com.
If you're looking for more hikes to attend this year (we certainly wouldn't blame you) you can find events in your area on the Irreverent Warriors website.
97% of the proceeds we raise at Irreverent Warriors goes directly to our mission - prevent Veteran suicide through connection, camaraderie, and humor. We're not into spreading awareness - we're into making a difference.
One Shared MissionVET Tv is the proud National Sponsor for Irreverent Warriors in 2021. In addition to a $25,000 donation matching initiative, every ticket to an IW Silkies Hike comes with a free month subscription to VET Tv.
***Blog Photo Credit*** Most blog photos are pulled from the IW- Charlotte Facebook Page and are contributed by hikers and attendees of the event that are happy to share their photos. If one of these photos is yours and you'd like individual credit, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can do so!