FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — The Irreverent Warriors Silkies Hike is back in Okaloosa County. Organizers said more than 200 Veterans will be participating in the event Saturday, Oct. 22.

The hike will start at the Island Resort on Okaloosa Island, going eight to 14 miles and stopping at different locations for food and drinks.

Event Details:

  • October 22, 2022 – 08:30 Registration, 9:30 a.m. start
  • Route stops include G.I. Jade’s Tiki Bar, Chester Pruitt Park, and KC’s Sandbar and Grill
  • Open to Veterans and Military Service Members (Active Duty, Reservists, and National Guard)

The main purpose of the walk is to take humor and camaraderie in hopes of improving mental health and preventing veteran suicide.

“According to numerous studies, including a commonly referenced VA Suicide Data Report conducted in 2012, at least 22 veterans and military service members commit suicide daily.”

Irreverent Warriors Silkies Hike Staff

The name ‘Silkies’ is derived from the traditional military training shorts used for decades, also known as Ranger Panties. Those participating in the event typically only wear combat boots and short shorts. Some will carry heavy packs and others participate in wheelchairs.

“Everyone fights their battles and heals from trauma differently, but one thing is consistent; no one should have to do it alone”.

Irreverent Warriors Silkies Hike Staff

The community is invited to join the action but the hike is for Veterans only. Irreverent Warriors said family members, friends and the community can volunteer to join the route stops. They ask those that drive by to cheer or honk to show support.

The national non-profit said they have done more than 90 events in 2022. The events have brought thousands of veterans together.

COVID-19 Protocol:

The hike will require those participating to have a fever of less than 101 degrees and will be checked at the registration table. A tracing and liability questionnaire will also be required for participation.

For more information, a private Facebook group has been created. Find registration and event rules online.