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Marchers to carry canned goods for vets in Hamburg’s K.I.A. Road March

It’s billed as the K.I.A. Road March, a 10K march in which participants carry canned goods that will be donated to help local veterans groups.

But if that sounds too challenging, the Town of Hamburg Veterans Committee is holding a canned food drive leading up to the march.

The march through Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park will take place Aug. 20 and is hosted by Vets for Vets. It was started five years ago by Sgt. Major Jason Jaskula of Hamburg as a way to honor military members from Western New York who have been killed in action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Participants in this year’s march will take part as individuals or as part of a two-member team, a squad of four or a platoon of 10 marchers. Participants will carry a minimum of 50 pounds each or 450 pounds collectively for a platoon.

There’s also a special KMR Challenge Squad competition in which participants undertake five “drill sergeant-inspired” challenges – four as individuals and one as a team.

All canned goods will be donated to the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 77 pantry, Gold Star Mothers pantry and Buffalo State College Milligan’s pantry to help veterans in need and their families.

Donations of non-perishable food also will be accepted this month at Hamburg Town Clerk Cathy Rybczynski’s office at the Town Hall, 6100 South Park Ave.

“Our assistance with the food drive is the least we can do to help those veterans that are in need who answered their country’s call while asking nothing in return,” said Rybczynski, who is secretary of the Veterans Committee.