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Fallen soldiers honored in march to Lebanon

Jake Old • Updated Nov 12, 2016 at 11:00 AM

As the sun fell below the horizon on Veterans Day, 22 people walked into Lebanon in honor of those who have been wounded in the line of duty. Their trek began 32 miles away in the heart of Nashville.

The Fallen Soldiers March is an annual Veterans Day walk that takes participants from Nashville to Lebanon on foot in order to commemorates wounded veterans. Both veterans and nonveterans participate in the walk. 

Jim Retzke organizes the march, which spans roughly 32 miles from the legislative plaza in downtown Nashville to the Veterans Park plaza in Lebanon. 

Several supports gathered in Lebanon to greet the Fallen Soldiers March as it ended Friday. Others came out to greet the marchers along the path as they made their way to Lebanon. 

Those who participated began their march at about 5:30 a.m., and they wound up in Lebanon at about 5 p.m.

After arriving at the Veterans Park plaza, the group said a prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance and enjoyed live music. 

This year, 22 people participated in the march. 

“That’s a great number,” Retzke said when he addressed the group after arriving in Lebanon. “I’m proud of everyone who participated, and I’m grateful to all of the wonderful veterans for their service to this country.” 

Fallen Soldiers March is also the name of a nonprofit organization launched by Retzke. The organization helps provide highly trained and skilled service dogs for wounded veterans. The price of a service dog ranges between $15,000-$30,000, and they are in high demand. 

“That’s what this is all about, honoring and respecting our veterans,” Retzke said.

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