UNION, NJ – Livingston School students gave back in a big way recently when they packed more than 250 backpacks for homeless veterans.

The backpacks were collected by Operation Rebound’s Racing Team before their 21-Hour Ruck March.

The  march, to bring awareness to veteran suicide and PTSD, started on June 16 at 4 p.m. and ended the next day ended at 2 p.m. on the Wildwood Boardwalk.  The event was hosted and sponsored by the NJ State VFW. The event support staff were members from the Union County VFW, Union County Freeholders Office, the Central NJ RWB Racing Team and volunteers from all over the state, according to Mike Boll, Operation Rebound Captain.

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“Each participant wore a backpack weighted with supplies and bricks,” said Boll, a sergeant with the Township of Union police. “Nearly everyone who participated walked over 30 miles and stayed the entire time.” Boll said the majority of participants marched in tribute to Township of Union's fallen Marine Thomas Duffy.

“It was an incredible experience having our team bring suicide and PTSD awareness to thousands of people,” said Boll.  “Having the families of the fallen and members with PTSD participate in this year's event really made a difference.”

“This event brought people together and showed our veterans that there are others out there who are willing to help and love them,” said Boll.  “The best moment of the walk, was watching the families and veterans thank each other for helping through some rough times.”