Vic Wise: Freedom Ruck Founder & Rucker
Russell Wilson’s manager and COO of West2East Empire, Vic started Freedom Ruck 5 years ago with a vision to create an event that inspired others to express their patriotism and give thanks to our service members. With the help of countless others and of course, his bad ass cousin, Val, they have created something special.
Humbled by the immense support, he hopes to see Freedom Ruck grow by inspiring more people to proudly display their flags, and volunteer with or donate to an organization with which they can relate.
Alex Miller: Friend & Freedom Rucker
Alex lives in Arlington with his wife, Ashley and 8 month old son, Kasen and works as a project manager supporting the DoD.
Alex loves being a dad. While he was not been able to log the training miles he has in years past, he is confident the sleep deprivation training that comes with being a new parent will make up for it when pushing toward the finish.
He and Vic were roommates at James Madison University and have remained friends ever since. He has a good friend currently deployed and has a profound respect for all of our servicemen and women and their families and is excited to have the opportunity to honor them and raise money for a well deserving charity once again.
James Lafferty: Friend & Freedom Rucker
James Lafferty, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, has been by Vic's side for the last 3 years and is thrilled to be back for this anniversary.
As a Marine Corps veteran, Jimm proudly walks with Old Glory, rucking to give back to a cause much larger than himself. Jimm works as a Project Manager for a construction firm, but his real passion is giving back to the veteran community. He is proud to walk with the rest of the Freedom Ruck crew, despite the blizzards and polar vortexes they've encountered so far.
He knows doing it in ideal conditions would not be enough of a challenge. He walks for the flag. He walks for the veterans, like himself. But more importantly, he walks for the men and women who cannot walk for themselves. He is forever grateful for Freedom Ruck.
Robert Davies: Friend, Freedom Rucker & Team RWB
Robert lives in Fredericksburg, VA with his wife, son, and daughter. Participating in athletic events with Team RWB is a passion for Robert.
Robert works as a DoD civilian with the United States Marine Corps, working alongside uniformed Marines to buy or build all assets that the ground warriors need to overcome the enemy.
As a Navy veteran himself, Robert participated in the 2015 & 2016 Freedom Ruck to give back to the Navy community and promote patriotism. The 2015 Freedom Ruck event was the first in which Robert carried Old Glory.
Inspired by that 2015 event with Vic, Robert has continued to carry Old Glory more than 2,000 miles in various half and full marathons, ultra marathons, and triathlons.
Seth Stoner: Cousin & Freedom Rucker
Seth is a Virginia Tech Army ROTC Civil Engineering Major. This is Seth's third Freedom Ruck.
His first year he rucked 30 miles, second year 60 miles, and for his third ruck this year he's trying for all 100+.
It's an honor to have him with us.
Mark Zurat: Friend & Freedom Rucker
Propelled by a childhood goal and a strong sense of patriotism, Mark decided to enlist in the military after high school. This decision lead him to become good friends with Ben and Vic. Currently living on the west coast, Mark hasn't t had the opportunity to participate in a Freedom Ruck until this year.
Mark has two goals for Freedom Ruck this year.
1. To honor the legacy of our military members and their families.
2. Leading the way through the 105 miles while carrying Old Glory.
Wayne Paxton: Friend & Freedom Rucker
A native of Virginia’s Augusta County, Wayne Paxton was a high school teacher for ten years before switching careers. He now works at Mossy Creek Fly Fishing in Harrisonburg, Virginia, as a fly fishing guide and instructor, and can be found working in the fly shop itself when not on the water.
This will be Wayne’s first Freedom Ruck, and he is excited to be a part of this unique opportunity to honor those who fought to make the United States of America the bastion of freedom it is today.
Rebecca Cunningham: Friend, Photographer & Team RWB
Rebecca Cunningham is an event, portrait and nature photographer based in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She spends much of her free time providing volunteer photography services for local Veterans Service Organizations. Rebecca describes her prior experiences photographing Freedom Ruck as inspiring, humbling, and intensely rewarding.
The daughter of a hobbyist photographer, Rebecca grew up with a camera in her hands and a penchant for taking pictures of just about everything. Rebecca's passion for storytelling through imagery is shown by her ability to capture spontaneous, candid and meaningful moments.
Rebecca's energy and keen photography eye have helped the East Coast Freedom Ruck team capture and share their journey. Her dedication to creatively documenting every mile of the ruck is much appreciated!
Ben Wise: Brother & Director of Ops
Growing up with Vic as his older brother, Ben has always been driven by Vic’s passion for helping and giving back to others. He has always looked up to Vic not only as his big brother, but as someone who cares so much about everyone besides himself.
Ben served in the U.S. Army with the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. Ben know’s first hand the sacrifices our men and women of the military make in order to protect our nation and its great people.
Freedom Ruck was one of the main reasons Ben decided to join the military, to simply give back to others the way Vic has always done to the people around him.
Elisabeth Edelman: Friend & Public Relations Support
Elisabeth first met Vic at a Richmond gym many years ago. He was that guy doing all the more intense, slightly crazy workouts.
Fast forward to 2018, and Elisabeth has now supported all five Freedom Rucks with PR support in an effort to share the event’s mission as widely as possible. Elisabeth owns her own PR firm in Richmond, Golden Word. Both of her grandfathers were former military, and she has many friends that serve and have served. Every year, she finds Freedom Ruck powerfully moving and personally motivating.
Valerie Reynolds: Vic's Cousin & Social Media Support
Val and Vic mile marker 30 during Vic's first Freedom Ruck in 2013.
Five years ago my cousin, Vic Wise, called me to run an idea by me. He wanted to do a (borderline crazy) physical challenge to say thank you to our servicemen and women (and to inspire others to do the same). He knew he wanted to call it Freedom Ruck, and he wanted to walk 100 miles in under 48 hours. He asked if I would help by lending social media support.
It was just the two of us for about 30 miles during the first Freedom Ruck in 2014. Today, because of his appreciation for those who serve and love for our country, our Freedom Ruck family has grown and inspired us.
Thank you all for following along, for sharing our mission online and via word of mouth, for coming out to shake Vic’s hand, to ruck alongside him, for your financial donations, for your comments and messages of love and encouragement.
We ruck to say “thank you” to our brave servicemen and women. Your support keeps us going.
Here's to year 5 and another 100 miles! RUCK ON!