A current graduate student at Southern Illinois University who served in Afghanistan in 2009 is walking from Murphysboro to Marion to raise money for other student veterans.
Ryan McKennedy says he plans to ruck march from the Murphysboro VFW to the Marion VFW on Monday. He started his walk around 7 a.m.
A ruck march is when soldiers wear a backpack, typically around 30 pounds, to train for what conditions are like on the battlefield.
McKennedy will wear a pack for 24 miles to raise money for the local chapter of Student Veterans of America.
"Sometimes, we have veterans that come in and their benefits have been delayed, they're out of money and they just maybe need a meal or part of their electric bill paid to make it to the next day," McKennedy says. "And that's what this money is going to."
McKennedy says he plans to stop at a few places along the route, including ceremonies in Carbondale and Carterville. He says he expects the march to last around 12 hours.
"If I finish before it gets dark, I'll be impressed."
Sunset for Monday is 4:48 p.m., roughly ten hours from when McKennedy left Murphysboro.