Irreverent Warriors Silkies Hike Virginia Beach

On  September 18th, over 150 veteran hikers and dedicated volunteers gathered in Virginia Beach to hike for the Irreverent Warrior cause - prevent Veteran suicide through connection, camaraderie, and humor. 

Virginia Beach_12 

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 2021VABEACH.

The Hike

Virginia Beach_8

Not to brag, but Virginia Beach is pretty much the ideal city for a silkies hike. With just over 5 miles of the route being entirely on the oceanfront boardwalk, we got to see some views that were just... yeah.

We started at the Virginia Beach Aquarium and made stops along the route at Grommet Island Park, Ocean Eddy's waterfront bar and restaurant, Chicho's Pizza and CP Shucker's Restaurant, and ended at the iconic Neptune Statue on the boardwalk for the group photo.

One of our last stops was at the local fitness park where we held a (healthy) pull-up competition, tested our rope climbing skills, and, of course, completed 22 pushups as a group. 22 for the 22. Then it was on to the OceanHouse Waterfront Rooftop Bar before heading back to the Aquarium to end the route.

We can't forget to mention the GREAT afterparty at LunaSea in Virginia Beach, where hikers all got to hang out, relax, and enjoy some awesome music from the Brian Grilli Band. 

Virginia Beach_11

The Mission

Virginia Beach_7

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 Mayor of Virginia Beach, Mr. Robert "Bobby" Dyer came out and spoke at kickoff, which was the best welcome we could have asked for from the local community. Dr. Dyer is a former Marine himself and is always so supportive of the hike and the IW mission. 

That start to hike embodied the spirit of camrarderie that lasted all day. There were  so many great moments - like a hiker finishing the entire 8-mile hike with her service animal en tow, even though she initially thought she'd never be able to do due to recovering from an injury. Seeing all the reactions from local bystanders was close to overwhelming at times. New friends meeting, old friends reuniting - it was a full day of hope, determination, and a reminder that none of us are alone. We served together, now we recover together.

Virginia Beach_9

Special Thanks

A big thanks to our resident photographer for the day Michelle Baker, who followed along with us for the entire hike to capture some of the amazing photos we got to include on this blog. 

An additional huge shout out to an unexpected supporter from hike day - Cameron Shull. Cameron was attending a nearby surf competition the day of the hike - and also happens to be a GREAT photographer - and snapped some incredible photos of hikers and was gracious enough to share them with us. A few are included here, and you can check out his work on his Instagram page @camshull. Thanks for the support, brother!

Yet another 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!

Ocean Eddy's Bar & Restaurant 

Chicho's Pizza

CP Shucker's Restaurant 

OceanHouse Waterfront Rooftop Bar

LunaSea

Mission First Realty

London Bridge

Virginia Beach_1

 

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?? 2021VABEACH to every hiker.

Renovo Health 

Maquire & Sons Auto Brokers

Pale Horse Coffee

The USO

Whiskey River Tattoo

Pale Horse Weapons Insitute

The Bunker

Tidewater Communications, LLC

Mermaid Winery

Mission BBQ

Latitude Climbing

Greenbriar Farms

Running, etc.

 

Virginia Beach_4

Who Made it Possible

Sean (Command Master Chief USCG, Active Duty) - Lead Coordinator

Mari (E-6 Navy Corpsman, Active Duty) - Regional Coordinator

Matt (VA Beach PD, Former Marine)

Krystal (US Navy, Active Duty) - Volunteer Coordinator

Sarah (Former US Navy)

Andrea (Civilian)

 

Virginia Beach_2

JOIN THE DEBAUCHERY 

We're planning even bigger and better things for Virginia Beach next year. If you're looking to get involved, reach out via the IW-  VA Beach Facebook page, or reach out to virginiabeach@irreverentwarriors.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.

 

Virginia Beach_6

Virginia Beach_10

One Shared Mission

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. 

 

 

Want a FREE month of VET Tv?  Use code 2021VABEACH

SUBSCRIBE TODAY

***Blog Photo Credit*** Blog credit for this blog goes to Michelle Baker, official IW photographer for this hike, and also  to Cameron Shull - a private photographer who happened to be attending a surf competition near where the hike took place, and graciously captured some incredible moments to share with us. Check out his Instagram page to see his work - @camshull.

By The Team at VET Tv | October 14, 2021 | | 0 Comments

Share with Friends