Norwich cadets embark on 50-mile trek for veterans

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NORWICH, Vt. (WCAX) For the eighth year Norwich University cadets are completing a 50 mile march to help homeless veterans.

It's a 50 mile march that helps cadets look into the past. "We learn about Norwich University, learn where we came from since Norwich was founded in Norwich, Vermont, before it burned down and moved to Northfield," said Timothy Williams, a junior at Norwich. He also says it also helps them keep an eye on their future. "One day we might be in need of help just like these veterans are, so it's really just giving back to everybody who has done so much for us."

The cadets make several stop stops on their journey back to Norwich University. Williams say its not as tedious as it sounds. "We keep a very lively environment going so we are playing music and making jokes. We have it spaced so we have something every six or seven miles," he said.

It's a two-and-a-half day march where these cadets will spend the night at Vermont Technical College where they will learn more about issues surrounding veterans.

"I talk to the kids tomorrow night about veteran suicide and issues, and PTSD," said Karen Boyce with Veterans Place, a group that supports veterans having trouble returning to civilian life. She has seen high-ranking veterans who have found themselves asking for help. "If you stop and think about it we are all one incident away from being homeless. It could be a divorce, it could be a break up from a marriage, it can be a house fire -- there are all kinds of reasons a veteran can become homeless."

This year cadets raised $5,500 for the group. Boyce says she's always inspired by the work cadets put in. "They are going to have soldiers underneath them that they are going to watch and take care of," she said.

Service and taking care of one another -- important lessons for these young cadets.