Cadets March 50 Miles for Homeless Vets.

(Photo: Mark Collier.)

(Photo: Mark Collier.)

In a modern reenactment of the historical march in 1866 that brought the cadets from Norwich to Northfield after a devastating fire, 50 Norwich cadets marched 50 miles to benefit residents of The Veterans’ Place, a transition home and support center in Northfield for homeless veterans.

Transpiring over three days and two nights, the exercise honored university founder Captain Alden Partridge. Along the way, marchers received educational instruction by Norwich faculty and staff pertaining to local and regional history, engineering, and geology. They also completed a service project at the U.S. Army Sgt. Carlton Clark Memorial Bridge in Sharon, Vt.

Senior Cadet Jessica Gnacke was this year’s student leader. She says the sense of camaraderie, the mission to support veterans in need, and meeting members of the community along the way have inspired her to participate each year. “You’re doing it not just to learn more about the school and to meet new people, but you’re raising money for a great cause,” Gnacke says.

Moments before the kickoff of the last home football game of the season, the cadets marched onto Sabine Field, delivered the game ball to the referee, and presented a check to representatives of The Veterans’ Place. The day was a win-win, with NU defeating Husson 20-17.

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