A Group Of Shirtless Marines Is Trying To Raise Awareness About Military Suicide

A cause we can all get behind.

1. Wearing nothing but short shorts, a group of Marines and veterans set out on a 13-mile hike on Saturday in San Diego in a bid to raise awareness about military suicides.

2. The vets set out from South Mission Beach Jetty wearing what are known as “silkies” — short shorts that had them turning a lot of heads.

3. The guys walked 22 kilometers carrying 22 kilograms (over 48 pounds) on their backs in a bid to draw attention to the 22 ex-service men and women who die from suicide each day.

4. “Imagine a pub crawl with all your Marine buddies wearing nothing but silkies and rucks on the most crowded and beautiful boardwalk in California. That’s what’s going on here,” the event’s Facebook page says.

5. Retired Marine Capt. Donny O’Malley, who organized the event, wrote the event also aimed to bring veterans together.

“[The event is being held] 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,” he wrote.

6. O’Malley, who served with the Marines for almost six years, told BuzzFeed News he had found hiking therapeutic since leaving the service in October.

7. “As we walked by we were cheered, honked, flashed, and handed money,” he said. “That helped increase the energy and excitement.”

8. The guys received messages of support from around the country.

11. March on!

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David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
Contact David Mack at david.mack@buzzfeed.com.
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