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Two future soldiers pack up for a 95-mile ruck for veterans

Herdman ships out June 1, 2021 and Hettler follows shortly after on June 23.

Josh Hettler and Ben Herdman are both seniors at Fairfield Christian Academy in Lancaster.

They’re not sure what’s ahead for their last year of high school, but they already know what they’re doing after graduation. Both have enlisted with the United States Army.

Herdman ships out June 1, 2021 and Hettler follows shortly after on June 23.

So, when they decided to do something physical to raise money for charity, the Wounded Warrior Project was the perfect fit.

“Since we were joining the military we decided let's help veterans out and we'll do it in a military way,” Herdman said.

The guys decided to go rucking to fundraise. What is rucking? It can be as simple going for a hike with a backpack on or as difficult as marching fast with all your military gear over rugged terrain. 

With the help of army recruiter, Sgt. Robert Mills, they mapped out a plan for a four-day, 95-mile ruck from Bloom-Carroll to Dayton.

“The weather was super-hot out, it was sunny every day. Of course, it was 90 or above every day,” Hettler said.

He was sunburnt and exhausted afterward but says it was worth it.

“I mean when you're going through this, you're bored and it sucks. You're hurting but when you know it’s for a good cause, the reason why you're doing it, it helps keep you motivated to keep pushing,” Hettler said.

“That’s what kept me going,” Herdman said. “That’s what made me move on. The fact that I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing it for other people who need it.”

So far, their rucking fundraiser has brought in more than $8,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project and they’re hoping to raise even more to reach their $10,000 goal.

If you’d like to support the Wounded Warrior Project, click here.

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