We’ve collected our most commonly asked questions and answered them here!
We rely on veterans who want to make a difference in their local community to volunteer to be local IW coordinators. Once your application is accepted, we provide all the training, direction, and support that it takes to ensure the event is a success. Click here to fill out an application or send an email to [email protected].
Nope. Our hikes are not meant to test your fitness. These are inclusive events for veterans attended by boots, salty ole vets, and everyone in between. They are meant to bring veterans together where they can hang out, meet some new friends, get some fresh air, and light activity. We have our motivators, but most of us will be strolling along at around 3 miles an hour and enjoying ourselves.
You can make a one-time donation, or if you are able to support our mission more consistently, you can sign up to be a monthly donor. For more information, please go to www.irreverentwarriors.com/donate and make a difference today!
Nope. Packs, vests, and any other equipment are entirely optional. We understand people may be broken, old, and/or just out of shape! Carry what you feel comfortable carrying, or don’t carry anything at all!
We have an entire merchandise store at www.shop.irreverentwarriors.com, where you can find silkies, tank tops, t-shirts, and even Woobie hoodies! The best part is that every bit of the proceeds from your purchase goes toward bringing veterans together and preventing veteran suicide.
Nope. We have hundreds of alternate events that occur across the country during the year. These events include pre-hike meet and greets, river floats, cruises, BBQs, and sporting events. The majority of these events are open to friends and family members. Check out your local IW social media group for more information.
Most veteran organizations outline the qualifications for the veterans they serve differently. Two of the elements that are key to the effectiveness of our organization are camaraderie and shared experience. For that reason, our organization and its events are tailored to serve veterans that completed initial training and have been assigned a duty station. That’s it! We don’t require combat tours, disabilities, or even an honorable discharge.
Our Silkies Hikes are for veterans, active duty, and reservists only. Maintaining an exclusively veteran element allows our hikers to open up and be themselves in a way that they wouldn’t otherwise. There is camaraderie born from the shared experience of military service that provides the opportunity for unconventional therapy difficult to find anywhere else.
We ask you to leave the kids at home for several reasons. The legal basis is “it’s an insurance thing.” Our hikes are permitted and insured, and our policy stipulates that minors cannot participate or be present in the moving element. The more common-sense reason is that the conditions involved with these events (weather, duration, bar stops, bathroom situation) are often not very child-friendly. Most importantly, our hikes are intended to promote conversation and connection and encourage people to “drop their walls” and be themselves around people who “get it.” Having children in the element can inhibit this process for both the parent and other participants.
We LOVE civilian support! Some of our events are more inclusive, but we have volunteer opportunities at most veteran-only events. Register as a volunteer, and you can come on out and help set up, drive a safety vehicle, cheer them on along the way, or hand out water at stops!
Unaccompanied minors cannot volunteer at our events for safety and liability reasons. Aside from that, we will take all the support we can get! Just remember your reason for supporting the event, respect your commitment, and know that we are grateful. We couldn’t do this without you!
Nope. Irreverent Warriors was founded by a Marine but has always been an inclusive organization regardless of your branch of service. Our events are attended by veterans from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Reserves, National Guard, and occasionally the rarest of them all – Space Force.
Nope. Our events are generally between 8 and 12 miles. Although there will be variation by a mile or two, our coordinators ensure that there are plenty of rest stops along the way.
Nope. Wear whatever you are comfortable in – within reason. We have some veterans show up in silkies and others in jeans and a t-shirt.
We require that our men wear silkies and our women wear silkies and a sports bra at a minimum. Specifically, you must keep buttocks, pubic areas, genitals, and breasts covered at all times. We want to make sure that we maintain a safe and healthy environment for all our veterans and avoid being disrespectful to our host communities.
Nope. Although our events help provide awareness about the veteran community’s mental health and suicide issues, that isn’t their purpose! We bring veterans together to create a life-saving support network. The bonds formed at our events are often lasting. Our events not only pull veterans out of isolation, they are sure to give your mental health a boost in the right direction.
Maybe! For safety and liability reasons, we allow service dogs only. This means that your dog has been trained to provide a service related to your disability. Service animals are working animals – not pets. We will have all dog handlers sign a waiver that states the dog is a qualified service animal and acknowledges their responsibility for its actions. We cannot accept the liability of caring for your service animal. Irreverent Warriors volunteers/vehicles legally cannot and will not watch/take care of your service animal.
Yes! However, your flag must be a patriotic flag (including state flags) or a branch flag. No political or religious flags will be allowed. We are a veteran organization that is here to support other veterans of all religions, nationalities, sexes, and creeds. We will never discriminate against any veteran. We will stay focused on that mission and eliminate any appearance of alternate agendas or affiliations.
Do what you can. If you need to take a breather in a safety vehicle, go for it! This is for fun and bonding. There is no need to stay longer than you wish or overexert yourself. You also have the option to volunteer – drive a support vehicle or help along the route. You’ll still be able to enjoy the camaraderie and be part of the experience!
Combined Federal Campaign is the official workplace giving campaign for all federal employees, active duty military, and retirees. As a nonprofit, our events are funded by donations, and we are one of the charities approved by the CFC. IW CFC#: 94915 For more information, please visit https://www.opm.gov/combined-federal-campaign/
The simple answer – to the IW mission! To receive an “A” rating, a charity must spend 80% of their funds on their mission with only 20% being used for overhead – we far exceed those expectations! As reflected in our 990 filed with the IRS, our fundraising to mission ratio over the past three years reflects over 90% goes back to the mission. Every hike is permitted and insured, and many include law enforcement escort, so we must allocate funds for these expenses at a bare minimum. Each hike also conducts fundraising for water, medical supplies, equipment, and food. NO FUNDS ARE SPENT ON ALCOHOL!
During the early days of IW, there were few rules, and most stops were at establishments that served alcohol. It has taken a few years, but the organization’s culture has shifted. “Illegal” drinking is not permitted, and many of our stops are at parks, monuments, and points of local/iconic interest. While we are still irreverent and debauchery rules the day, our focus is on mental health and wellness through camaraderie, connection, and networking. We have even initiated a Recover Program that encourages a healthy and safe environment for those in recovery or who want to focus on their wellness.
Maybe! Donny is a very busy man, and his availability often depends on his filming and production schedule at VetTV.
We are living in crazy times, and some parts of the country are crazier than others! Between civil unrest, anti-military sentiment, and the need for last-minute route changes (construction, city events, change in stops, etc.), we have found publishing route details ahead of time is risky. By keeping a closer hold on the event details, we can minimize risk and prevent a great deal of potential chaos and confusion. Many hikes will include the route and timeline in an email typically sent out to registrants the week prior. On the morning of the hike, route details are available. Feel free to message the coordinator directly through Eventbrite, and most will answer any questions you may have.