On July 10th, over 100 Veteran hikers and dedicated volunteers gathered in Seattle, Washington 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 2021SEATTLE.
The hike setup was designed in order to facilitate connection as much as possible, with shorter walking segments and longer stops in order to make space for hikers to really sit, talk, and get to know each other. The route wound through all the Seattle must-sees, like the Space Needle (where hikers got to enjoy a nostalgic lunch that mirrored those delightful meals we enjoyed in the Chow Halls - a sandwich, piece of fruit, and chips). There was also some friendly competition (of course) at the Space Needle with a little tug-o-war competition right out front, which attracted the attention of more than a few onlookers.
After the Space Needle the hike went through the city towards Pike Place, another iconic
Seattle landmark. Out the back of Pike Place, where the Original Starbucks is located,
the hike played "God Bless the USA" as we made our exit. It was a solitary moment that every hiker certainly enjoyed, but also every spectator that witnessed it. It was a great chance for a group photo opp, and also an opportunity to talk to curious onlookers about who we were, what we were doing, and why we were doing it.
"Never let a stumble on the road be the end of your journey, you have the power to say this is not how my story ends."
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.
The hike coordinators were overwhelmed (in the past way possible) with Veterans coming up to them all throughout the day talking about how much they needed the hike - sometimes without realizing it. They talked about the feelings of isolation we all know too well, and how forging connections with so many other Veterans at the hike was life-changing, and even life-saving. This is why we do what we do.
Thank you to all the local businesses and individuals who provided generous donations of food, drinks, and monetary contributions, or hosted us for stops along the hike!
Pub 70 On the Pier - was a host for one of our stops.
Blarney Stone - another host!
Cowgirls Inc. in SoDo - for hosting us for our meet and greet the night before the hike, as well as being our last stop and also hosting our hike afterparty. The owner Wade is a Marine Corps Veteran, and always is willing to open his doors early to us and leave them open late so hikers can plenty of time together. Having that kind of local support really makes such a difference!
Anheuser Busch - for donating all the swag they did and helping us coordinate our stops.
Sponsors & Donors
This hike would not have been possible without our other amazing sponsors!
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?? 2021SEATTLE) to every hiker. VET Tv was set up with merch, stickers, and great conversation with hikers.
4K Media Group - for taking pictures and recording, as well for their interaction with hikers throughout the entire hike and bringing even more spirit to the event.
McChord Thrift Shop
SoSaan Papaya Salad Sauce -for the donation of the DELICIOUS catered Thai Food.
Who Made it Possible
- Lead Coordinator
Michelle Beard (USMC) - Assistant Coordinator
Hassan Lovett - Team Member
Candace Medford (US Army)- Fundraising Coordinator
Thor Peterson - Team Member
Nathan Snyder (National Guard) - Team Member
This was a resilient team that managed to pull off an incredible hike, even with one of their team members Nathan Snyder currently deployed in Poland (sending him good vibes for a safe return).
JOIN THE DEBAUCHERY
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 MissionaVET 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-Seattle Facebook Page and are contributed by hikers and attendees of the event that were happy to share their photos. The photos on this blog are credited to Toby Hutchens. If one of these photos is yours and you'd like individual credit, please reach out at email@example.com so we can do so!