Upcoming hike shows veterans the large Central Texas support system

WACO, Texas (KWTX) Six years after military men and women first hiked through downtown Waco in tiny green shorts, the unconventional Silkies Hike has grown and touched many lives.

The next event is coming up Saturday, February 29.

The group Irreverent Warriors has been putting on these hikes around the country bring veterans and active duty service members together.

It's meant to let them know they have a support system in the community and it also brings attention to the issues of veteran suicide and PTSD.

The hikes draw their names from the clothing item known as "silkies," notoriously skimpy and unpopular green shorts worn by many active duty members of the military during physical training.

And local hike director Jacob Romero says that's part of the strategy, using humor to break the ice.

This year, there will be several food stops along the hike route culminating in a big dinner once it's over.

And Romero says that's not all that's changed.

It will be the largest turnout yet and Romero says he's seen the positive impact to veterans.

Irreverent Warriors also holds more get-togethers outside this event throughout the year.

Hikers can register at the Brotherwell Brewing at 400 E. Bridge St. at 9 a.m., February 29 and the event begins at 11 a.m.

While the hike is only for military and active duty service members, other members are invited to cheer on the hikers and volunteer at water and food stops.