When Afghanistan Veteran Tyler Jones heard about LCVFSF’s Ruck March last Fall, he thought it was the perfect time to support efforts to reduce Veteran suicides, especially those of his fellow Afghanistan Veterans. He not only signed up to participate in the 22-kilometer march. He began a unique awareness and fundraising campaign that included his wife Hayley and their 10-month-old son Louie.
Tyler started by fashioning a portable flagpole to display both the American flag and that of the 10th Mountain Division, his old Army unit. As he marched, he carried both flags. Added to that he wore a backpack carrying Louie, who attracted a lot of attention all by himself. Hayley took their campaign to social media, where it added many supporters to the cause.
As Tyler and Louie took to the streets of Geneva to march, they drew the interest and support of many residents who cheered them on and donated funds. They then joined family and friends in a parade in their local community, Maple Park.
As more funds were raised, Tyler pledged to complete a second 22 kilometers if their efforts topped $5000, which it eventually did. 44-kilometers later, the collective efforts of the Tyler family continued to pay off.
“Congratulations to Tyler, Haley, and Louie for being our number one fundraiser for last year’s Ruck March,” said LCVFSF founder and president Paul Baffico. An administrative error delayed the awarding of a plaque recognizing the family’s efforts. “We’ll make up for that very soon,” said Baffico. “Meanwhile, we commend them for their superb efforts on behalf of Veterans in Afghanistan and all around the world.”