A group of Marines trekked over 13 miles this weekend in nothing but their trademark short shorts known as “silkies” to raise awareness about suicide among veterans.
The event, titled “22, with 22, for the 22” took place on Saturday in San Diego, Calif., with a group of Marines marching 22 kilometers up the coast, carrying 22 kilograms of gear on their back. The number 22 represents the estimated 22 veterans who commit suicide each day, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The event was organized by Irreverent Warriors, founded by Marine-turned-comedian Donny O’Malley, and VETality Corp, another veteran support organization, with the mission of raising awareness of post-traumatic stress and suicide prevention among vets.
“To get veterans and our supporters together, to put weight on our backs and feel nostalgic, to laugh, to drink, to party, and remind us all that our camaraderie and brotherhood will never die,” read the event’s Facebook page.
The march drew more than a few onlookers, with many people sharing images on social media of the Marines in their silkies making their way up the coast.