On September 18th, over 200 veteran hikers and dedicated volunteers gathered in Nashville, TN 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 2021NASHVILLE.
The hike route gave hikers a little taste of every kind of Tennessee scenery - from the beach, to downtown Nashville and out through a few of the state's infamous cornfields. Along the way, we stopped at The George Jones Bar & Museum - which is veteran-owned and operated - for a little relaxation and some great local music. A few other local staples that were incredible hosts along the way were Ole Smokey Distillery and YeeHaw Brewery, where hikers got to sit and relax - and take advantage of the free arcade and huge screened-in porch at YeeHaw.
We took our group photo on the stairs of the Nashville War Memorial, before heading to the Nashville Sounds Baseball Stadium to chow down lunch in the stands. Nashville can feel like a whole other world, and getting to experience so much local flavor made this hike just a bit more special.
“Irreverent Warriors strips away all those labels we’ve given ourselves since we got out and we’re all just “green” again. I think we’ve all missed that”
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.
One of our hikers, Sean Gilley, coordinated a really profound display among hikers early on in the day. 9 marines, 3 soldiers and 1 corpsman each carried a folded flag and the names of the 13 service members we lost during the evacuation of Kabul. It was a very emotional moment, but one that reminded us exactly why Irreverent Warriors exists.
There were plenty of emotional moments, but plenty of fun and light-hearted ones, too. In the pouring rain before our first stop , we noticed a group of local bystanders waving at us from underneath the awnings along the streets. Our lead coordinator took the opportunity to promote our cause by reciting the Irreverent Warriors mission through his bullhorn... before promptly crashing into a large blue postal box. Credit where credit is due though... he never stopped reciting the mission statement. Hope those ribs are feeling better though, Zac!
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!
Ole Smokey Distillery
The George Jones Bar & Museum
Sponsors & Donors
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?? 2021NASHVILLE to every hiker.
Benjamin's Tires - Not only did this local Veteran-owned business show up as a huge sponsor, but their owner helped us promote the hike and bring in several other local sponsorships, too. They've already volunteered to help with next year's hike, and we couldn't be more grateful for the support!
Who Made it Possible
JOIN THE DEBAUCHERY
We're planning even bigger and better things for Nashville next year. If you're looking to get involved, reach out via the IW- Nashville Facebook page, or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Nashville Facebook Page and are contributed by hikers and attendees of the event that are happy to share their photos. These photos in particular - credit goes to Amy Lorraine and Christopher Lee Herod. Thank you for sharing, guys!