Service Circuit: New Baltimore Veterans ruck around for fitness and fun

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AMVETS Post 52 in New Baltimore is host and the starting place for the Aug. 11 Macomb County Veterans and Supporters Ruck.

A ruck is walking with a backpack, according to event organizers.

Participants in the event include the Anchor Division U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, supporters of 22 Until None (veteran suicide prevention), and the Macomb County Veterans Community Facebook group.

Post 52 is at 51285 County Line Road. The ruck — rain or shine — is 10 a.m. to noon.


This is a Team Red, White and Blue activity. (See Team RWB’s mission is to connect veterans to the community through physical and social activity.

William Schranz, a U.S. Navy vet from Harrison Township, called a Team RWB eagle leader, can be reached at [email protected] or 586-913-6023.

“Veterans and allies will stroll in Macomb County,” he said. “Feel free to bring a ruck with any weight or no weight at all. We ruck four to six miles and grab lunch together afterward.”

The walk that goes in a circular route from the AMVETS post to Anchor Bay and back is free and open to all; friends, allies, and whole families participate.

“It goes near the largest flagpole in Michigan (at Walter and Mary Burke Park),” Schranz, 33, said. He said he wears a specially designed 20-lbs. “Go-Ruck” bag, but that some people carry up to 80 lbs.

He said some other forms of physical activity bring up unwanted memories from his military service, but walking does not.

“It’s an effective way to tone and lose weight,” he said. He said that social activities and fitness events help veterans prevent depression and help symptoms of post traumatic stress.

“This is one way to heal and grow, to exercise. We are stronger and better together than we are individually,” he said.

The AMVETS post is happy to host the event because it brings in new veterans to its facility. Rucks will take place every second Saturday of the month at Post 52.

Other rucks are in Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Tecumseh and the Bay City area.

Team RWB programs include fitness activities, social gatherings and community service events, intended to make connections with other members, and community organizations. Members may engage in some type of exercise like cycling, running, functional fitness or yoga.

There are at least four yearly 5K races, mud runs and relays for team-building, connection with the community, and creating a sense of shared accomplishment. There may be concerts, attending sporting events together, or picnics and barbecues for families and friends.

Community service events usually center on veterans or physical fitness and athletics. Volunteers may work at a veteran’s homeless shelter, participate in a Special Olympics event, or hand out water at a local race. There are one-on-one or small group gatherings called eagle engagements.

Team RWB’s Eagle Leadership Development Program trains empathetic individuals to educate, mentor and move others to build better communities, and enrich veterans’ lives. Chapters have made 346,680 veteran interactions so far this year. Participants volunteered at community service events for 204,534 hours last year.


Mount Clemens Kiwanis Gives to Sea Cadet program

The Mount Clemens Kiwanis Club recently donated $750 to the Great Lakes Division U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and its Underwater Research and Exploration using the ship Pride of Michigan.

Sea Cadets is a congressionally-chartered, U.S. Navy-based organization that teaches young people about the seagoing military services, U.S. naval operations and training, community service, citizenship, discipline and teamwork.

“This very worthwhile organization teaches about the environment and the Great Lakes that surround us,” Kiwanian Theresa Randolph said. The Sea Cadet program is open to teenagers.

Luke Clyburn, a captain of the Sea Cadets, was a recent speaker at the Kiwanis club.

“The Sea Cadet program has spent 41 years training teens to dive and research shipwrecks in the Great Lakes,” Randolph said. “Their research identified the potential danger of Line 5, the pipeline running across the Straits of Mackinac, and the hazard it poses to the Great Lakes. The pipeline was believed to lie on the bottom of the straits, but actually crosses a gorge with no support.”

There are coastal shipwrecks to explore in the shallow waters along the Lake Huron shore. Clyburn spoke about a 7,000-year-old underwater forest in Thunder Bay near Alpena and a plan to launch a recorded document program on the historic significance of the Great Lakes with the assistance of state archeologists.

“The Sea Cadets rehabbed a retired Navy ship, The Noble Odyssey, and the Navy was so impressed that they donated a new ship, the Pride of Michigan, to the program,” Randolph said. “This summer, they hope to compile some history of the St. Clair Flats and Anchor Bay.” See


DAV advocates for dental care for vets through the VA

The Disabled American Veterans made an organization resolution, No. 013, which supports legislation for the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide dental care services to all enrolled veterans.

DAV prepared an editable letter for its members to send to their congressional representatives to support passage of VA Dental Benefits H.R. 4556 Expand Care to all Vets. It was introduced by Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (NH) to require the VA to offer comprehensive dental care to the 9.1 million veterans enrolled in the VA health care system.

Only certain veterans can get dental care now – those with a service-connected disability rated 100 percent; veterans with a service-connected dental condition; former prisoners of war; and homeless veterans. Dental care is also available if a dental condition is aggravating a service-connected condition or complicates treatment of that condition.

The bill would eliminate restrictions on eligibility for VA dental care, allowing all veterans enrolled in the VA system to access in-house dental care. The bill phases in the new eligibility over five years to give the VA time to invest in and increase its capacity to provide dental care.


Baker College dental school offers veterans reduced rates

Vets can get teeth cleaning, x-rays, tooth sealant, periodontal services and fluoride application all for one price, $30, from the Baker College Dental Hygiene Clinic at 34401 S. Gratiot Bldg. C, Clinton Township. Call 586-790-5238. Other adults and children can get those services for reduced rates.

Send service club and veterans news to: Linda May at [email protected] Or mail c/o The Macomb Daily, 19176 Hall Road, Clinton Township MI 48038. Phone 586-791-8116.