Home Social Obituaries Business Sports Letters Events Entertainment

'Carry the Fallen' coming to Bonners Ferry

September 2, 2018
On Saturday, September 15, Tobe Way is going to be closed for a time and what might look like a celebration will take place at the Bonners Ferry Log Inn. It will be a celebration, in a sense, but with a deep purpose. The event is Carry the Fallen, the purpose is to bring to an end the national pandemic of U.S. military veterans, in large part by showing those contemplating taking their own life that they are not alone.

In 2013, the VA released a study that covered suicides from 1999 to 2010, which showed that roughly 22 veterans were dying by suicide per day, or one every 65 minutes. Some sources suggest that this rate may be undercounting suicides and it's not gotten any better in the years since.

Former infantryman John Riddle, a veteran 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper, took on organizing the Bonners Ferry Carry the Fallen event, hosted by Active Heroes, after having participated in some Carry the Fallen events, the original and largest ruck march event nationwide to end veteran suicide, saying that it's a simple but very effective idea.

"Sometimes, just walking and talking and enjoying a cold beer together can make all the difference," Riddle said.

"These ruck marches naturally bring veterans together, and new friendships form and veterans who may have thought of suicide see that there are people who understand," he said. "It seems too simple, but it's often the only way forward."

The Bonners Ferry event starts with an opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m. September 15 at the Log Inn, 43 Tobe Way. Participants will step off on the march at 11 a.m., walking a route that will bring marchers back to the Log Inn afterwards for a full day of activities, music, food, raffles, a silent auction and more.

There will be free activities for the kids, so the whole family is invited. Guest speakers will talk, there'll be a beer garden, free barbecue, live music at 3 p.m. and more. Proceeds will benefit local veteran's organizations, and one raffle will fly a veteran and family on a five-day retreat in Kentucky, the home of Active Heroes, a charitable organization that hosts Carry the Fallen and other events to bring veterans ands families together.

Everyone is welcome to participate, and marchers can register on the Active Heroes website. To learn more about the Bonners Ferry march, visit them on Facebook, call John at (208) 267-2932 or email [email protected].

© Kootenai Valley Times
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83806
[email protected]