On Saturday, July 18th, 2020, It was a beautiful day in the Truckee Meadows for a group of Veterans to come tougher for some much needed camaraderie and fellowship. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States with the assistance of VFW Silver State Post 3396, VFW Battle Born Post 9211, VFW High Desert Post 12116, and VFW Post Gasper J. Salaz Post 2350 sponsored the Irreverent Warrior Reno Silkie Hike. There were several other sponsors that assisted in this great event to ensure its success.
The Irreverent Warriors is a group that brings veterans together using humor and camaraderie to improve mental health and prevent veterans suicide. Irreverent Warriors are the men and women who have been prepared to kill and die for our country. We have laughed in the face of death, dismemberment, and the enemies of the United States.
The night prior we met up at VFW Battle Born Post 9211 to meet the amazing staff of Irreverent Warriors Reno and volunteers. It was a great night as several of the participants were engaging with each other with life experiences and for the newcomers to the IW family learning what this event was all about, " build camaraderie and prevent veterans suicide.”
The day of the event participants dressed for success in short silkie shorts, hiking boots and personalities to please all. Groups gathered at the Reno Arch for the start of the hike immediately talking with each other starting that bond that will live forever. It is we're in this time of struggles they were able to let go and be themselves amongst people with likeminded personalities.
As the hike traverse thru the city of Reno streets, around the University of Nevada Reno Campus and on to your first stop. We all started quietly and soon after we're singing and enjoying the antics of some of the seasoned hikers. On the next leg of the trek we stared the hill hike up to Rancho San Rafael Park to our lunch stop at the American Legion Darrell Dunkle Post 1. The Legion was so gracious to open their doors for a much needed potty break. This leg of the hike several people drove past and honked showing their support with the residents coming outside to meet us on the street to thank us.
The Hike continued down back to the Truckee river and on to Idlewild park then back toward wingfield park for anther needed break. Along this route we had several people cheering us on as we continued this emotional and fulfilling hike. The Reno Police and Fire on several occasions on our hike would drive past and would light up the lights and roll down windows and cheer us on. Several of the hikers were so grateful the love and support from the local community.
The hike came to its final leg where the hikers stopped at the Powning Veterans Memorial Park for a brief and needed remembrance. One of the hikers encouraged us to remember and live for their memories. The bonds we made today will help us all through the struggles we may have and to know we are now part of a bigger family.
We finally ended up at the Reno Arch were several of the participants were sad to see it come to and end. The felt a sense of accomplishment and several were hugging and exchanging contact information.
The outside communities have difficult time understanding hikes like these and with the Irreverent Warrior model some will capture a glimpse of the amazing work it provides.
Finnally, If you would like to support or participate visit Irreverent Warriors they are located Nationwide and have a great list of followers. As the VFW Silver State Post 3396 participants finished we all committed to continue this camaraderie and support in every program we provide our community.