Over 50 veterans gathered in Spokane, Washington this year 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 2021SPOKANE.
Contrary to our rainy, wet, gray cousin on the Washington Coast – looking at you Seattle, sorry – Spokane is a vibrant, sunny and warm city often described as “The Biggest Small Town.” That’s because regardless of where you are in Spokane, it’s likely you’ll see someone you know – or someone that you know knows. (Hope that made sense.)
It’s also home to tons of outdoor experiences and local breweries, which the hike got to enjoy taking advantage of. The hike route included the North Bank of the Spokane River, as well as a walk down Monroe Street and into downtown, making great stops along the way at a few local spots that have become staples of the hike.
This hike was particularly special this year because it fell on Memorial Day weekends. So while we know it can be a tough time for a lot of our brothers and sisters, this group really came together to celebrate and embrace camaraderie and connection on so many levels.
Some of them even extended out of the hike. One of our favorite moments this year was during our stop at Brick West Brewing Co., where our hikers ran into a lone Korean War Vet sitting alone. They immediately invited him to join them at their table and started sharing stories and experiences. Seeing two such different generations of Veterans cross generational lines to still find genuine connection was a testament to the power of this bond.
The mission of every IW hike is the same – prevent Veteran suicide by bringing Vets together with humor and camaraderie. This hike was one non-stop funny, emotional, supportive moment – but there were a few that warrant specific mention.
In addition to the amazing display of cross-generational camaraderie previously mentioned, we had a really special moment where one hiker's father - a Vietnam vet - joined us at one of our stops. The entire hike wanted to meet him and shake his hand, which resulted in a lot of emotions - obviously a few tears - and another genuine display of Veteran connection that is just unlike anything else in the world. Easily one of the best moments of the hike, hands down.
Huge shout out to a few local businesses that hosted us for stops along the way, donated food and drinks, and just really helped make this hike what it was.
Brickwest Brewing Company
Hidden Mother Brewing Company
Also a huge honorable mention to the Spokane Local PD, who not only supported us and our presence, but also shared the information about their hike to their union members to drum up additional support and attendance.
This hike would not have been possible without our other amazing 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?? 2021SPOKANE) to every hiker. VET Tv was set up with merch, stickers, and great conversation with hikers.
The Man Shop
Warrior Liquor Distilling
Waterbury's Pool & Spa
Who Made it Possible
Josh LaSharr - Co-Lead Coordinator
Lara Miller - Incoming Co-Lead Coordinator
Kawika Castilliano - Assistant Coordinator
Brandon Molett - Assistant Coordinator
Tifiney Rey- Volunteer Coordinator
The Spokane Silkies team is not only diverse, but they also deliver efficiency through continuous delivery of project execution. As a team, their primary focus both in planning and execution is the Veteran and their experience throughout our events. Anyone who's been to this hike knows exactly what we're talking about.
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*** The photos used in this blog are photos collected from those shared by hikers, coordinators, volunteers, and attendees of Silkies Hikes. We'd like to give specific credit to Eli Patten - an attendee of the hike. If we missed you, and you'd like individual credit for a photo that shared, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can accredit it.