Whitman-Hanson Regional High alum Brody DeMinico (’13), a four-year high school wrestler and boys’ lacrosse player, is marching for a cause Saturday, April 14.
Over the Old North Bridge, onto the roads of Concord and through the Minutemen Trail, Hanson resident Brody DeMinico will carry an immense weight on his shoulders.
DeMinico will participate in this year’s Tough Ruck on Saturday, April 14. The course, which commences at the historic Old Manse, is a 26.2-mile march along the Battle Road Trail in Concord. “Ruckers” also carry a rucksack, weighing a minimum of 15 pounds along the marathon, and ribbons in memory of fallen service members.
For DeMinico, his rucksack will weigh 40 pounds and he will carry a yellow ribbon to remember Army veteran, Sgt. Ryan Patrick Goggin, who lost a battle with leukemia March 31, 2017. Goggin is the late cousin of Hanson resident Robert Goggin, who reached out to DeMinico on his fundraiser page for the event in early April to wear Ryan’s name.
“It’s a huge honor to know that someone sacrificed their life so that I could do this,” DeMinico said. “It’s a huge weight on my shoulders to honor someone that fought and died for this country.”
While the Tough Ruck’s main mission is to honor fallen service members, fundraising is a key component of the event. Each “rucker” must raise up to a certain benchmark, depending on what rucksack they strive to wear, to compete in the event. DeMinico has raised just shy of $1,000 for The Wounded Warrior Project.
DeMinico himself has been a member of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard since 2013.
“My grandfather was in the military, so I just followed in his footsteps,” DeMinico, a 2013 Whitman-Hanson Regional High graduate, said.
It was in Pennsylvania, while studying at Penn State, and participating in its ROTC program, that DeMinico grasped the true understanding of how tough it is to lose someone in the line of duty.
“I’ve known instructors that have seen people die in front of them, and it’s just been a heavy weight knowing there are soldiers that have gotten the chance to go across the ocean in other countries and have fought for our freedom and died,” DeMinico said. “I want to deploy so I can feel the honor that they’ve had.”
The Tough Ruck will begin at 7:20 a.m. and “ruckers” have nine hours to complete the trek.
“I’m doing this for everyone that’s had a family member that’s fallen or is wounded,” DeMinico said. “I’m doing this for everyone in the Whitman-Hanson area.”