8/15/14: KIA Memorial Road March Returns to Chestnut Ridge Park

Modified: January 23, 2015 3:03pm

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2nd Annual 10 K March Honors Armed Forces, Supports Veterans in Need

ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Veterans Service Agency, along with the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry, has announced that Chestnut Ridge Park will once again host the K.I.A. Memorial Road March on Saturday, August 23, 2014 starting at 11:00 AM. Sponsored by Vets For Vets, the 10 K ruck march offers an opportunity to honor service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, and also gives participants a chance to help veterans in need today as marchers carry ruck sacks filled with canned goods which are donated after the event.

Director of the Erie County Veterans Service Agency Fran McLaughlin said, “Events like the March give us a chance to honor and remember the individuals in our armed forces who gave their all for our nation. It’s also a terrific outreach tool to connect the community with our living veterans, thank them for their service, and get veterans aligned with any assistance that they might need, including food assistance. Carrying that rucksack demonstrates commitment and support for all our veterans, those who are with us and those we remember in our thoughts and prayers.”

The K.I.A. Memorial Road March is not a competition, but all entrants will be timed. Participants can march in one of four categories, with rucksacks filled with canned goods weighing the minimum allowed by category. Categories include: Individual, Team (2 Marchers), Squad (4 Marchers), and Platoon (10 Marchers). For an Individual, the allotted minimum weight of canned goods is 50 lbs; for a Team, the weight is 80 lbs. (collectively); for a Squad, the weight is 200 lbs. (collectively), and for a Platoon the weight is 450 lbs. (collectively). Ruck sacks and canned goods are provided by the participants, with all canned goods being donated to help area veterans in need; in 2013, 5,200 lbs. of canned goods were donated by the March’s 106 participants. 

“Since my return from Iraq, I often think of Christopher Dill, my ‘Battle Buddy’, as we say in the military,” stated March Executive Director SGM Jason Jaskula.  “He was killed in action in Iraq, and as I tried to think of a way to honor his memory, I realized that there was no single public event in Western New York to honor military members Killed in Action (K.I.A.) in the forefront. That is the idea behind the K.I.A. Memorial Road March.”

Erie County Parks Commissioner Troy P. Schinzel added, “It is an honor to host the March at Chestnut Ridge Park, which will be an ideal venue for participants to show their support and honor our veterans. I would like to thank our partners for their cooperation and assistance in getting the March moving.”

The K.I.A. Memorial Road March is open to all participants age 18 or older. Teams interested in a competitive-style March may participate in the K.I.A. Military Branch Challenge (open to eligible military ID card holders) or the K.I.A. Challenge (open to everyone). The event is $55 per person (military) or $60 per person (non-military), with proceeds donated along with collected canned goods to local veterans’ organizations. Rules for participants, registration information, and Challenge information can be found at