May 30, 2024

POWER Commemorates Memorial Day with Veteran-Led Ruck Marches Nationwide

Culture POWER Commemorates Memorial Day with Veteran-Led Ruck Marches Nationwide

Every Memorial Day, our nation pauses. We pause to reflect and honor the military men and women who have served and sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

While we can honor their memory through celebrating life, it’s important to remember that this day holds deeper significance beyond BBQs and fireworks. That’s why Power’s Veterans Initiative (PVI) hosted Ruck Marches across the country, gathering our community together to remember and march in honor of those we’ve lost. 

Read on to learn more about this once local initiative, that is now creating a national impact.

Where It All Started…

employees pose with american flag for Ruck March
Both veteran and civilian employees prepare for the flag folding ceremony that concluded the four-mile Ruck in Tampa.

Tampa 2022. Regional Manager of Military Affairs and Marine Corps. Veteran, David Lopez, is the man behind the March. David started the event by rallying the veterans, military spouses, and inspired civilians of the Tampa office to celebrate Memorial Day in a more meaningful way. 

“We started the Ruck Marches in Tampa in 2022 as a way to remind everyone that Memorial Day was more than ‘just a day off.’ Specifically, it is a day to honor those individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice for us and this country”, said Lopez. “In addition, Memorial Day can be a difficult day for some of the veterans and veteran spouses in the business. Rather than spending it alone in our thoughts, we wanted to provide our community with a place to come together and celebrate those lives.” 

What is a Ruck March?

A Ruck March is a light walk or hike (typically a few miles) that gathers the military community together in remembrance of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Participants will usually march with their ruck sacks, weighted backpacks, or other military gear.

POWER’s Ruck Marches invited families of employees to join the event, and featured a flag-folding ceremony post-march to further pay tribute to those we’ve lost. 

 Once a Local Event, Now a National Tradition 

employees march in park for memorial day
POWER’s Tampa employees and family members participating in their Ruck March along Bayshore Drive.

With how this event has rallied the Tampa office together and built a stronger culture, the Military Affairs team wanted to create that same impact in other POWER territories. 

“Over the last few years, this ruck has become a tradition that not only the Military-affiliated community looks forward to, but honestly the entire office. It’s done exactly what we set out to do inside and outside the walls of POWER. But what we didn’t realize we were doing at the same time, was creating stronger bonds and culture amongst the entire Tampa office, not just the vets,” explains Lopez.

“So we said, ‘why not start this same tradition across an entire region?’ So we planned that on this Memorial Day, the seven offices in the Eastern region would step off at 8 a.m. reminding those seven cities and territories what this day was all about. Well when the rest of the business got wind of it, some more offices decided they wanted to do the same, and that seven turned into 15!”

Tampa was joined by the Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Long Island, Connecticut, Boston, and New Jersey totaling nearly 500 employees and their families. 

How Will This Event Evolve?

Power employee lead the ruck march along Kelly Drive and Boat House Row
POWER Scrum Master Matt Carr leads the Philadelphia Ruck March along Kelly Drive and Boat House Row.

 But he’s not stopping there. Lopez hopes that in the years to come, every POWER office will host a Ruck March, coming together to remember what the day is really about. 

“I hope that one day every single territory across POWER is CHOOSING to spend their day off by starting it with remembrance. That every Memorial Day we are reminding these communities that we serve, that the day is more than BBQs, poolsides, or the unofficial start of summer. That doesn’t mean we can’t do those things, because those we lost wouldn’t want us to mourn. However, we can honor, celebrate, and remember WHY we get to enjoy this day off.”

A Parting Message For Us All… 

Our entire community at POWER deeply thanks and honors those we’ve lost — those who sacrificed their lives so that we could live ours. 

Imagine if we all follow living the values embodied by those we remember, and what impact  we could have on each other, our communities, and the world. 

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