MARLTON, New Jersey (WPVI) -- One hundred and seventy combat veterans, families and friends took part in the 2nd annual Ruck and Roll on Monday.
The McHugh Jiu-Jitsu School in Marlton, NJ, in partnership with the We Defy Foundation, holds the two-part event to honor the fallen and raise funds to help combat veterans.
It consists of a five-mile walk with weighted backpacks followed by a round of Brazilian jiu-jitsu on the open mats of the school.
Pete McHugh, owner of the jiu-jitsu school, explains how it can help a combat veteran.
"We've really found jiu-jitsu fills this void for veterans. It's comradery. For instance, we don't call them teammates, we're the tribe. They're a part of something here; that shared brotherhood. Memorial Day for us is more than just burgers, hot dogs and pools. It's just a way to remember we have the best country in the world."
"I'm a Navy veteran. Memorial Day means a lot to me. A lot of people paid the ultimate price. We're lucky to be here because they put it all on the line," said Pete Lingesso with the We Defy Foundation.
Connor Nachurski is glad to hit the streets for a good cause. The Villanova ROTC senior says it's a way to remember the fallen.
"It's also about carrying the load. People before who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and so today we're carrying the load for people who can't carry it anymore," said Nachurski.
They raised more than $6,000 that goes straight to supporting combat veterans and scholarships to enroll in the school. The benefits of jiu-jitsu on combat veterans with military-related disabilities or PTSD can be life-changing.
G. Bruce Grayson, Marine Corp veteran from 1978-1984 says, "For me, I represent the ultimate sacrifice. I looked over and saw one of the guys from the Army missing both his legs. But the fact that he's out here, how can I complain? Nothing to complain about."
For more information on the McHugh School of Jiu-jitsu in Marlton, NJ please visit them at https://mchughbjj.com
For more info on the We Defy Foundation visit https://wedefyfoundation.org