walk the bridge

Rowlett Strong Inc., was initially formed to raise funds to support victims of the 2015 Christmas Tornado that devastated several Rowlett neighborhoods, the organization has since shifted its focus to that of supporting our first responders. 

Now they’re supporting Third Watch LE (Law Enforcement) MC (Motorcycle Club), a brotherhood of police, fire fighters and military, both active and honorably retired, that share a common goal, that of supporting first responders and veterans in any way possible.

Each month, Third Watch LE MC leads a walk across the bridge between Rowlett and Rockwall to draw attention to the problem of suicide among our country's heroes in service to our citizens. These suicides now occur at a rate of more than 30 per day. This must be stopped.

Third Watch recently learned of and confirmed a First Responder suicide in McKinney. The tragedy happened just last week and only strengthens their resolve to address the issue and find solutions.

Third Watch invites all interested parties to participate in the #WalkTheBridge effort on Feb. 22. This month the walk will be led by Sergeant Major John Vick (ret) of Senator Bob Hall's office. He will be carrying a 9/11 flag flanked by first responders Samantha Horowitz (Secret Service, retired) and John Salerno (NYPD, Retired). Both Horowitz and Salerno were 9/11 first responders. This month's walk is specifically focused on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and those first responders and veterans that suffer from it.

There will be a special presentation of the 9/11 flag at the end of the walk by SGM Vick to Third Watch LE MC. The flag will be donated to the newly opened VROC (Veterans Resource and Outreach Center) in Rowlett.

#WalkTheBridge is in now its fifth month, with the participation level increasing each month. This month, two very special wreaths will be deposited into the lake in recognition of our veterans and first responders during a moment of silence at the one-mile mark of the walk.

22Kill refers to a 2013 statistic that 22 first responders/veterans take their own lives every day. This statistic has now risen to approximately 30 as indicated above. The #WalkTheBridge event occurs each month on the 22nd of the month. Event is rain or shine.

Those interested in joining this walk should meet at SH 66 public ramp parking on the Rockwall side of Hwy 66 of the Lake Ray Hubbard bridge, before 6 p.m. (walk begins at 6 p.m.), Feb. 22.

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