Coming September 7, 2019

on Monday, 29 April 2019.


Why We March

Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation presents The Ruck March of Lake County annually to raise awareness about the Veteran suicide epidemic that claims approximately 20 Veteran lives every day.

The Ruck March of Lake County is back for its third year with a new route (see map above). Our passion remains the same: to raise awareness about military suicides and to reduce the number of needless losses.

In 2018 there were 20 suicides per day of active duty military and Veterans, male and female. Alarmingly, the highest number of suicides is among active-duty personnel, the worst in at least six years. Moreover, the overall military suicide rate is much higher than that of civilians. 

The military, VA and advocacy groups are developing new ways to improve mental health care during and after service. Initiatives such as immediate support through the Veterans Crisis Line available 24/7/365 to provide support for Veterans who are at acute risk for suicide, and for those calling on the behalf of a Veteran. We need to get this message out and help reduce this staggering epidemic.

How? It is easy and rewarding.  Just march with us on September 7th and raise awareness.


The Ruck March Has Two Purposes:

1. To increase awareness to reduce suicides.
2. Honor all Veterans and Service Members, both male and female lost to suicide.

How We Achieve Our Purposes

If you feel the same way we do and wish to support our cause, then register to participate in the event.  Your participation will inform others about this growing problem among Service Members current and past.You can create your own team for competition and for additional fund raising. If rucking isn’t for you, that’s okay. You can participate by volunteering to help before, during or after the event…or just make yourself a part of this wonderful cause and you'll "Walk with A Purpose".

To honor our fallen Veterans, we participate in a patriotic 22-kilometer march carrying a 20+ pound ruck (backpack). The weight in the rucksack symbolizes the daily loss of life as well as the emotional and physical weight carried by those struggling with a lack of hope. Carry as much or as little as you can or want. It is up to you.


Event Details

Date: Saturday September 7, 2019
Registration Check-In: 8:00 am
Step-Off: 10:00 am
Starting Point: Daisy's Artish Cafe,  216 North Milwaukee, Number 1, Lake Villa
Finish Point:   Daisy's Artish Cafe,  216 North Milwaukee, Number 1, Lake Villa 

Parking is limited and we recommend carpooling or being dropped off.
Shuttles will be provided to return participants back to their vehicles.

Distance: approx 22.3 km

Above all, thank you for supporting a great cause and have a good time!

Funds will be donated to Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to reducing the amount of time it takes for a Service Member to ask for help, mitigating issues that arise.



We highly recommend you start training as early as possible. Not everyone who participates will finish. Cut your toe nails, prep for chafing, use broken-in boots/shoes, moleskin, band aids, bring extra socks and hydrate yourself before and during the event. Water will be available throughout the route but bring your own drinking source as well. We recommend alternating between water and an electrolyte drink. We also suggest carrying an extra phone battery pack just in case your phone dies.

Food will be provided for all volunteers and participants along the route.



It is important that you obey all traffic signs.

No weapons are allowed or needed for this event..

Please obey all laws and city ordinances, no need to go to jail that day or get any tickets.


How to Register Individual Walkers on Eventbrite:  Click on:

Team competition: once registered above, click here, then on the "Become A Fundraiser" box a) to fundraise; b) to create a team; c) to join a team. 


How do I simply give a donation by credit card or cash?



  1. Checks can be made out to: Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation with the memo “Ruck March”
  2. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to: 100 South Atkinson, 110, Grayslake, Il 60030.
  3. Your ticket is your donation receipt.

Funds will be donated to Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to reducing the amount of time it takes for a Service Member to ask for help, mitigating issues that arise.


You will be required to sign the following on the day of the march if you haven't already done so.  Please cut and paste on a separate document and bring to registration desk when you sign in.  Thanks so much!

Waiver of Liability

This agreement releases Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation, the employees and volunteers thereof, and partnering sponsors and municipalities from all liability relating to injuries that may occur during September 7th, 2019 Ruck March. By signing this agreement, I agree to hold the aforementioned persons and organizations entirely free from any liability, including financial responsibility for injuries incurred, regardless of whether injuries are caused by negligence.

I am over 18 years of age or am accompanied by my guardian and acknowledge the risks involved in this march. These include but are not limited to: dehydration, blisters, cramps, heat injuries, injuries from the cold, minor scrapes and cuts, broken bones, aches, and back pain. I understand I am participating voluntarily, and that risks have been made clear to me. Additionally, I do not have any conditions that will increase the likelihood of experiencing injuries while engaging in this activity. If I do, I hold myself and/or my guardian liable for further injury.

By signing below, I release Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation the employees, volunteers thereof, and partnering sponsors and municipalities from all claims for any reason. By participating, I will help raise awareness of the national Veteran Suicide Epidemic. I will also make every effort to obey safety precautions as listed in writing and as explained to me verbally. I will ask for clarification when needed.

I, ________________, fully understand and agree to the above terms.




 Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation Media Alert and FAQs 

  • What: A 22-kilometer march to raise awareness of the 20 Veterans who commit suicide every day. The Ruck March of Lake County is sponsored by the Lake County Veterans and Family Services FoundationA ruck sack is a military term for a back pack which is optional for marchers to wear to honor those who have fallen. 
  • Why: Today, many more Veterans die by their own hand than by enemy combatants. In fact, to date, more than three times as many Vietnam Veterans have taken their own lives than dies in the 20 years of the Vietnam war.  Moreover, women Veterans are 250 times more likely than civilian women to commit suicide (VA). The suicide rate for service members is substantially higher than for civilians. Suicide prevention is possible with attention and treatment. 
  • Who: Participants will help Veterans to begin healing by encouraging them to ask for and to accept help. 
  • Where: The march begins at Daisy’s Artish Café (216 N. Milwaukee Rd., Lake Villa, 60046); goes to the Grayslake Metra Station by Washington; then marches back to Daisy'y for Pictures, awards, raffle prizes and good food and drink!
  • When: Saturday, September 7th at 10 a.m. (Registration starts at 8 a.m.) 
  • Media Only Contact: Bob Gorman, Vietnam Veteran and Public Relations Officer of Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation.

   847-322-5176     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Where does the money go?

Funds will be donated to Lake County Veterans and Family Services Foundation, a local nonprofit dedicated to reducing the amount of time it takes for warriors to ask for help, mitigating many of the issues that arise.

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?