On Friday, March 24, members of the University of Southern Maine community gathered at the President's House in Gorham to honor Maine's fallen heroes. The day was previously scheduled to be the second annual TSP Ruck, a 10-mile hike from USM's Portland campus to the Gorham campus. This year's event was canceled due to weather.
Instead, participants gathered at an intimate luncheon to share the stories of the fallen and learn more about The Summit Project. Camden Ege, Air Force veteran, USM graduate student and TSP Ruck coordinator, announced that the second USM TSP Ruck is now scheduled for September 11, 2017. "Even though this was a backup plan and not what anybody was expecting to do, it created a really intimate environment for sharing stories." Ege said.
The TSP Ruck is USM's way of participating in The Summit Project living memorial, founded by Marine major Dave Cote. At last year's USM TSP Ruck, each participant honored a single fallen hero by bearing the weight of a stone that was carefully selected by the surviving family, and shared his story at certain stops along the route. The Summit Project welcomes groups of any size and affiliation who want to carry the memorial stones and memories of the fallen to honor and sustain their memories.
Ege has worked with Veteran’s Services at USM to bring The Summit Project to campus. “One in ten Mainers is a veteran, the third highest per capita in the nation. USM serves the most veterans out of any school in Maine and is the heart of the Southern Maine community. In this area, everybody has a connection to a USM alum or a veteran. This hike is just a visual way of uniting everybody,” he said.
Please visit the Veteran’s Services website at USM for more information.