Thomas Nelson recognizes the importance the military plays in everyday lives. Showing appreciation, the College will observe Veterans Day with a series of activities.
The biggest event is a volksmarch — a non-competitive walk designed to promote fitness, fellowship and fun — on Nov. 11 at the College’s Historic Triangle campus in Williamsburg. Students, faculty, staff and members of the community are invited to honor those who served by participating in walks ranging from one mile to 10 kilometers.
“This is a great opportunity to honor our vets with an event that brings together our campus and the community,” said Gary Pounder, Assistant Director of Veterans Recruitment, Retention and Advising at the College. “So many walked across distant battlefields to secure our freedom. On Veterans Day, we will remember their sacrifice with a march at the Williamsburg campus, not far from the spot where early American heroes won our independence at Yorktown.”
Thomas Nelson has hosted Veterans Day walks at the Williamsburg campus for several years, but this marks the first time the College has sponsored a longer volksmarch and invited the community to participate. Next month’s event will feature a 10-kilometer route, a 5-kilometer path and the traditional one-mile fun walk. The 10k and 5k routes will begin at Thomas Nelson, wind through the Warhill neighborhood and return to the campus. Walkers can begin those courses anytime between 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., and have until 4 p.m. to finish their route. The fun walk begins at noon, and will cover a course within the boundaries of the Historic Triangle campus.
Pounder said not only can participants choose their route and distance, they also can provide financial support with an optional $20 registration fee. Proceeds from the event will help fund a scholarship for armed forces dependents at Thomas Nelson and provide a donation for a military charity. Individuals who pay the registration fee will receive a commemorative T-shirt. All participants are asked to register for the volksmarch and choose their options at tncc.edu/volksmarch.
“We’re hoping this can become an annual event,” Pounder said. “There is tremendous support for our military and veterans throughout Hampton Roads. Here’s an opportunity to put that support into action by registering for the Volksmarch and supporting initiatives that will directly benefit our vets and the wider armed forces community.”
The event is being organized with assistance from Peninsula Pathfinders, a local volksmarch club.
“We couldn’t do this without the help of the Pathfinders,” Pounder said. “Their experience in organizing and staging these events has been invaluable.”
The Veterans Day walk is sanctioned by the American Volksport Association and the International Federation of Popular Sports, governing bodies for volksmarching in the United States.
The volksmarch is among several events planned by Thomas Nelson to honor the military. Others are a veterans art show, a mindfulness clinic, a keynote address on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury (delivered by a mental health provider from Langley AFB),and a clothing drive.