Ruck Marchers Trek Across North Dakota to Honor Veterans and Raise Awareness for PTSD
Last year they went from the Canadian border to South Dakota border
FARGO, N.D. — It’s a nearly 400–mile–trek, and it’s all to honor veterans who have taken their lives.
Ruck marchers went from the Western border of North Dakota to Fargo with 20 pounds on their backs to represent the 20 veterans who take their lives every day.
“[It feels] like I got hit by a truck, dragged down the road, and hit with the door when I tried to stand back up,” organizer John Dalziel said.
Community members joined them for their last leg in Fargo.
The first ruck march was last year when they went from the Canadian border to the South Dakota border.
Dalziel came up with the idea to honor Brady Oberg, a veteran who took his life four years ago after struggling with PTSD.
“This is been amazing. It really is. These 16 people that not only decided to ruck across North Dakota, but they also spent five days away from their jobs, away from their families to help us shine a light on PTSD,” Tracy Dunham, Brady’s sister, said.
“We can take the warrior from the war, but we struggle to take the war out of the warrior,” Dalziel said.
After Brady’s death, his family started the Brady Oberg Legacy Foundation.
“We realized afterwards if there were signs we missed, we got to get the word out there and help spread the awareness of PTSD so families know what to look for,” Dunham said.
It’s something that hits close to home for Dalziel, who struggles with PTSD himself.
“It’s an overwhelming darkness that for me, starts down low, builds up, and it’s just a feeling that you can’t– there’s nothing that’s going to make it right. It’s just an overarching darkness with the demons inside,” he said.
“One of Brady’s things was the crinkling of a water bottle or seeing a vision through a glass, that would trigger him back, nightmares, visions,” Dunham said.
Veterans say if you’re struggling with something similar, it’s important to talk to someone.
“It’s not a sign of weakness, it’s actually a sign of strength to ask for help,” Dalziel said.
Honoring veterans is especially important on Memorial Day weekend, as every pound on the marchers’ backs and every step of their trek is to recognize those who fought for the land of the free and home of the brave.
For more information on the Brady Oberg Legacy Foundation, click here.