Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from the University of Delaware and West Point began a nearly 2,000 mile relay-run at Sturgis yesterday. As SDPB’s Jim Kent reports, the future U.S. Army officers are part of a group founded to bring awareness to veterans’ issues as well as bridging the divide between members of the military and the public.
“It’s important to have some sort of liaison between them so everyone knows the roles that the civilians play…versus the military plays.”
That quote is from the informational video produced by Reviresco. Founded last year by ROTC cadets in Delaware. The non-profit group's motto is “Cadets For Vets”. Reviresco president Micah Petersen explains their focus.
“Reviresco…is a Greek word which means ‘to be reborn.” says Petersen. “And our main mission is to educate civilians on their role in bringing a reverse to the civilian/military relationship. You know, it’s often mentioned the one percent in America…the rich one percent. But the other one percent that a lot of people don’t talk about is our veterans. And there’s a reason that 22 of them commit suicide a day. And there’s a reason that they don’t feel part of their community and that they don’t feel as…they’re treated more as a burden on society than a benefit to society.”
Micah Petersen notes that the Reviresco motto “Cadets For Vets” applies to all who have worn the uniform.
“Since the Revolution and then the Civil War…we’ve always had different races and different ethnicities in our armed forces,” Petersen explains. “And they’re all paying the same price…ultimately. They’re all willing to write that check…up to and including the price of their life. And understand that they come back with the same tolls on their lives…and the same tolls physically and mentally that need to be cared for.”
Micah Peterson adds that whether you’re running across the country or packing bags at a supermarket, every veteran is valuable to our society and should be welcomed and appreciated by the public.
Bridging the gap between the public and veterans…as well as active-duty military personnel…is accomplished through extensive relay runs and educational events at high schools. Last year the Reviresco group ran from Delaware to Texas.
Reviresco member Alex Chiodo says the goal for the 7 cadets on this year’s Sturgis to Los Angeles run is 105 miles per day, 15 miles per runner. They plan to complete their journey to Los Angeles on August 23.
“So…what happens is one runner will run 5 miles,” notes Chiodo. “We’ll do 5 mile legs. Our RV/bus will be at the 5 mile point waiting for them. Once he gets there, he’ll get some water and we’ll switch runners. And then the bus will drive ahead another 5 miles.”
And so on… across the Northern Plains, through the West and into California…empowering those along the way to understand their role in helping provide financial, spiritual and moral support for all veterans.