It was a nice day. The weather was cloudy with no real chance of rain in the upper 50s. A great day for a run or ruck. Luckily, it was the day for the Portland Rucksgiving. I filled two backpacks worth of donations for the Portland Rescue Mission, including warm clothing, personal hygiene items and blankets and headed towards the designated starting point.
I parked a few blocks away from the starting location. I got my ruck on and assembled the flag pole, attached an American flag to it, and rucked to the start. I waited for a few minutes and another person showed up with his American flag and his Mission 22 flag all attached to his ruck, which was filled with donations. I told him where he could park for free and he left to park next to me. A few minutes later and he was back. We waited around for another couple minutes for anyone else to show up as there were a few more people who were interested in the event. While we waited, I learned that he was a US veteran and a really cool guy. At a quarter past the hour, we started on the ruck.
The route was rad (I am little biased as I created it), we rucked past OMSI, across the Tilikum Crossing bridge and along the waterfront. We passed the non functioning waterfront fountain, past the Portland Spirit boat to the smallest park in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, Mills End Park. On past the World Trade Center, a few block parks, passed the Roseland Theater and Dante’s. We even saw the long ass line for Voodoo Doughnuts. But our destination was in site, the Portland Rescue Mission.
When we walked into the Mission, there were a few people in line that needed the services of the Mission. One of the people in line saw my American flag and saluted it. He said that he had served in the military and said that he has to salute the flag every time he see’s it. This was the first time I felt odd. Do I say ‘Thank you for your service’? I’ve read posts and stories where veterans don’t like it when people say that to them. I just smiled at him and nodded. I really didn’t know what to do. That made me feel a little sad.
Once we had dropped off the donations, we started off back to our cars. Here we are, two dudes walking with rucks on, both with American flags going across the Burnside Bridge. Must have been an interesting sight. We walked back to our cars to drop off our rucks and headed back to Boke for a killer meal.