The MISSION of Irreverent Warriors is to bring veterans together using humor and camaraderie to heal the mental wounds of war, through therapeutic events and entertainment, and by God, laughter, in order to reduce PTSD and prevent veteran suicide. Their VISION is to provide all U.S. Veterans with a strong veteran based support network, reduce the impact of PTSD, and eliminate veteran suicide.
22 veterans are killing themselves a day. Hiking is an activity of the Irreverent Warriors, Hiking is something that they know, it has been an important part of military culture and training since the beginning of time. Hiking with other Vets gives a sense of mission, and requires them all to endure some mental and physical pain as they achieve the mission; A chance for these veterans to enjoy the camaraderie created during shared misery. It is a way, through the shared pain of the hiking environment, to open these combat veterans up to themselves and to each other about the demons that live inside them. When they speak about their demons, and then someone else speaks about their demons, it creates a powerful amount of support that they will not find in this way anywhere else. These hikes bring out their best, maybe through hysterical laughing as the pain brings back the nostalgia created by a bunch of warriors banded together, carrying weight on their backs, and marching with a purpose. They are veterans of the US military; Irreverent Warriors have used humor to get through the darkest side of humanity. The men and women who have been prepared to kill and die for our country. They now laugh in the face of death, dismemberment, and the enemies of their haunted past.
Why do they hike in silkies?
As with all Irreverent Warriors events, they want the event to be full of laughter. Thus uncomfortably short and tight silkies on a big strong man will make any man or woman chuckle. Marines and Soldiers have been wearing silkies since at least the 1950s. They are an old military tradition that has been eliminated by the military- that the I.W. choose to revive because of the nostalgia and the laughter that they create.
These hikes are intended for field combat veterans who can carry 50 pounds for 13 miles; in other words those who at one point carried a lot of weight on their backs and hiked with a unit. This is THERAPY for VETERANS, to give a chance for them to feel safe, and participate in the comradery of brothers and sisters who have the shared experiences in the darkest part of humanity- combat.
So what can you do? Understand, as a civilian the most effective you can be here is to extend knowledge to these veterans that they are not alone, and are supported by more than lip service. You can contact for more info: http://www.silkieshike.com/host-a-hike/
You could be of service before an event, help set up an event, or Be There at the end of the event by setting up a bar stop for the guys at the finish of the event.
Stop at bars?
Bars have been an important part of military culture since the beginning of time. Warriors have gone to the bars immediately after battles to drink, laugh, and forget about the ugliness of war.
The END RESULT is fewer veterans who kill themselves.
For civilians- The best way to help a combat vet you love, is to tell them to show up to this.
Keeping the hike for the combat vets, let them have their therapy, and meet them at the bars with loving arms, loving women, and pitchers of beer. (No liquor, bad idea)
This post is simply to raise awareness, and to save lives.
Just a short list known of the 2016 Irreverent Warriors Silkies Hikes –
Jun 18 Fredericksburg, VA
Jun 18 Des Moines, IA
Jun 25 Las Vegas, NV
Jun 25 Crown Point Park Mission Bay, San Diego, CA,
Jul 23 Minneapolis, MN
Jul 30 Grand Rapids, MI
Aug 06 Richland, WA
Aug 27 Long Beach, CA
Sep 10 San Antonio, TX
Sep 10 Destin, FL
Sep 17 New York, NY
Sep 24 Savannah, GA
Sep 24 Boston, MA
Sep 24 Nashville, TN
Oct 08 Sarasota, FL
Nov 05 Emporia, KS
Nov 12 Greenville, SC
Nov 12 Jacksonville, FL