Posted at: 08/15/2012 6:56 PM
Updated at: 08/16/2012 11:31 AM
By: Gordon Severson
Military Rucksack Making Its Way Through MN
(ABC 6 News) -- Several American veterans are carrying something very special through Southeast Minnesota.
It’s called a “ruck” or heavy duty backpack used by soldiers.
What makes it special are the items inside, and the reason behind the ruck.
"Going to try to do 30 miles between today and tomorrow," Ruck Across America participant Jason Christensen says.
Their journey began, Tuesday night after picking up a rucksack in Northern Iowa.
However, the backpack’s journey started several weeks ago in San Diego.
On this leg of its’ journey it’ll be carried by two local veterans.
Unlike most travelers, Air Force veteran Jason Christensen and Army vet Tom Claymon, will never actually reach their destination.
But the backpack will.
"The pack is basically kind of the symbol of the event. The pack is actually what started it all," Christenson says.
The idea goes back to an intense course created by a group of Green Berets.
An obstacle course that has to be conquered while carrying a 60-pound rucksack.
Whoever completes the challenge gets the honor of carrying this specific rucksack during its journey across the country.
"From the West coast to the East coast and circling back to through the South and to the central portion of the country," Tom Claymon explains.
Everyone that carries it gets to put a little something special inside.
“Some patches, memorabilia that people would like to pass on. I've got an American flag that was draped over the casket of a good friend of mine," Christensen says.
In the end the items will be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to wounded soldiers and their families.
"To be part of this, this process of carrying this backpack that has been on the back of countless people involved, it's a pretty neat experience," Claymon says.
An experience that proves it’s not the destination that's important, but the journey.
The ruck was also taken to the Byron shooting range.
A sniper shot a bullseye through a patch, which will go inside the bag.
The ruck is now headed to the Mississippi where a retired Navy Seal will bring it up river to the Twin Cities.