Nicole, Jamie, and Guadalupe will begin their journey in Long Branch and walk towards Manasquan carrying heavy sacks. Say hi, wave to them and cheer them on along the way to show your support!

nicole and jamie ruck sack walk

In memory of Nicole Ray's uncle (Jamie's dad), a military vet (PFC David Lovelace)  who recently passed away, and in honor of other fallen service members, police, firefighters, and EMTs, these 3 girls are walking on Saturday to raise money to support military families in times of need.

The girls will walk 26.2 miles carrying 'ruck sacks' with the name of Nicole's uncle. They will be wearing the bright blue t-shirts and sweatshirts pictured here that say "'Freedom Isn't Free." (The shirts were created by All Out Vinyl & Apparel.)

They signed up to be part of Tough Ruck (the same group that was at the finish line of the Boston Marathon and joined the first responders to help those that were injured by the horrific bombing on April 15th, 2013.)

Now the Ruck happens the Sunday before Boston Marathon Monday, and the Ruck takes place in Concord, Massachusetts on the original trails of the Revolutionary War.

freedom isn't free shirts

Tough Ruck is the only Ruck march partnered with the Boston Marathon and finishers are awarded the official Boston Marathon Medals and receive recognition from the Boston Athletic Association. (The Military Friends Foundation is the official charity of Tough Ruck.)

Of course Covid-19 changed this year's walk. It was first postponed, and then switched to a virtual Tough Ruck which will take place on any day from Sept. 11th through Sept. 13th.

Nicole Ray (21 yrs. old) from Freehold, along with her cousin Jaime Lovelace Dupuis (daughter of PFC Lovelace) who now lives in R.I., and Nicole's high school friend Guadalupe Perez-Lopez (23-yrs.old) also from Freehold, will be doing their virtual Tough Ruck starting at about 6 am at the Long Branch boardwalk on Joline Ave. (near 7 President's Park.)

Tough Rucker Guadalupe from Freehold.
Tough Rucker Guadalupe from Freehold.

They will walk for 13.1 miles  towards Manasquan and then turn around and end up where they started in Long Branch.

This is the second year that Jaime has done this and when her father (Nicole's uncle) passed away they both decided to do it in his honor this year. He served 4 years in the U.S. Marine Corp and was discharged as a Private First Class. He was originally from Enfield, IL and then was stationed at Earle Naval Weapons Station where he met his wife and lived in Freehold until he passed away.

Although they won't be streaming live, if you want to track their location you can CLICK HERE and click on 'watch' and it will give their location.

For more info on Tough Ruck, CLICK HERE.

To make a donation to military families in need, CLICK HERE.

Nicole's mom (Jamie's aunt) Colleen is so proud of the girls that she sent in this story to spread the word far and wide about supporting these girls as they support our military and first responders. Thanks so much for sharing, Colleen! And thanks for making this tough journey for a great cause, Girls!


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