For fifth year, The Warrior 110 marches on


Ibuprofen, bourbon, beer, stupidity and patriotism.

Those five things help U.S. Army veteran Brian Alvey and U.S. Air Force veteran Darrin Tissandier get through their six-day, 110-mile trek from Louisville, Kentucky, to Indianapolis.

The Warrior 110 program’s fifth annual ruck march — a weighted walk often used in military training — started Monday and will end Saturday.

Alvey said he drinks a lot of coffee, too, and Darrin said he uses Gold Bond medicated powder. They encourage each other along the way, too. Whatever it takes.

“This would be difficult to just do it as one individual,” said Alvey, 51, who lives in Franklin and is president of The Warrior 110, a not-for-profit organization that raises awareness and funds for veterans suffering from physical and emotional ailments, such as post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury.

“It doesn’t get any physically easier doing it with somebody else, but just having a ranger buddy right there … if I’m just not feeling it one day, he’s picking me up. If he’s not feeling it one day, I’m picking him up,” Alvey said. “If one starts to not feel it, it elevates the other one because the other feels like they need to pick up the slack, so to speak, and motivate the other one. It’s everything that we learned in the military.”

Tissandier, 55, who lives in Georgetown and is vice president of the foundation, has been with Alvey from the first ruck march, even marching on despite Alvey missing most of the event in 2022 due to illness.

“Patriotism and a love for our fellow veterans and society as a whole. It’s a blessing that we’re given the opportunity to find something where we can continue to serve,” Alvey said. “Broken, brittle, retired or expired, but we’re still out there getting it done. You can find something to contribute if you try hard enough.”

This year’s march began a day earlier, leaving at 5 p.m. Monday from the Big Four Bridge crossing the Ohio River to Sellersburg. The next two days started around 9 a.m. with overnight stops in Scottsburg and Seymour. Thursday began a little later and ended in Columbus. On Friday, they will walk to Greenwood.

On Saturday, they will walk to Coaches Tavern in downtown Indianapolis, where they hope to arrive around 4 p.m. and be joined by others to walk three blocks to the Indiana State Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Monument Circle. Alvey will speak there before heading back to the tavern for a mission complete party.

“The owner there very graciously said, ‘Have it here. Let’s do a veterans thing,’” Alvey said, noting the march fittingly ends on Veterans Day. “That’s a very popular, crowded tavern, so he’s already got a crowd. He didn’t need us, so for him to say, ‘Hey, have it here’ was pretty nice. We couldn’t have more respect for him for allowing us to do that.”

Money raised through the march and other events throughout the year benefits veterans. Over the years, fundraisers have been conducted at bars and restaurants, Alvey has done an ultramarathon and ridden a bull to raise money and they have hosted a mixed martial arts event.

“If it makes a few hundred bucks for the 110, I’ll do it,” he said. “We have our expenses, but nobody gets paid. It pays for us to do events like this (ruck march).”

One of the organizations they donate to is the Brian Bill Foundation in Florida. Its Warrior Healing Program begins with individual four-day therapeutic retreats for special operations forces active duty, veterans and their spouses who have been deployed since 9/11 and as a result have mild traumatic brain injuries, combat post traumatic stress and chronic pain, according to

Alvey, who was in the Army for 20 years and then spent time in Afghanistan as a contractor, went through the program at one point due to his own struggles.

Alvey also is doing a big push to connect with jiujitsu academies to offer scholarships for veterans because the martial art has tremendous therapeutic benefits.

A lot of people — not just combat veterans — deal with post-traumatic stress for various reasons, so Alvey said the work of The Warrior 110 is important.

“This just doesn’t benefit us, so to speak. It’s benefiting our friends that we serve with. This benefits all of society,” he said. “Doctors and whatnot can continue to get opportunities to focus on finding those solutions that help and even possibly eliminate these struggles that people go through. … If this helps everybody, the way we look at it, we’re still serving, and that’s our intangible benefit through it.”

As for the ruck march, Alvey and Tissandier carry ruck sacks weighing 45 pounds. One of them also has an American flag on a pole, and the other carries a Warrior 110 flag.

Most of the route is along U.S. 31. Along the way, Tissandier has made it a tradition to point out landmarks and count American flags to keep them going.

“Every time I see a flag, I salute it,” Tissandier said. “On this trip, that’s hundreds.”

That goes back to Tissandier making a connection with Alvey and joining him and Adam Smith for the first ruck march in 2019. While Alvey and Smith both had smaller-sized flags sticking out of their ruck sacks, Tissandier had a large flag on a pole.

Since then, they have carried the large flags. Alvey said while Americans may have different beliefs, the American flag connects people.

“That flag is supposed to represent what I believe in, but it’s also supposed to represent what you believe in,” he said. “That’s not my flag, and it’s not your flag. It’s our flag. Instead of putting emphasis on so many other things, instead of disregarding and disparaging that flag, I tell people to lean into that flag. That flag is supposed to stand for all your beliefs, your dreams and everything. Don’t let someone else have ownership of it.”

Along the way, Alvey and Tissandier receive donations from people after learning about their cause. On Wednesday, while they received a police escort through Crothersville, a veteran got out of his truck and saluted them.

“We reconnected with him up the road a little bit. He gave us $50 and said he really appreciated what we were doing. He was a Marine,” Tissandier said. “That was pretty cool.”

Moments like that motivate them to continue the nonprofit and the ruck march.

“When I did it the first year, I thought it was just going to be a one-off,” Alvey said. “Then a lot of people said, ‘Hey, you should do it again,’ and then (Tissandier) stepped up. He wanted to do it, so he reenergized me to do it again, the third year, fourth year, now fifth year. I don’t know how long we’ll do this. Maybe this is the last one. Maybe this is not even close to the last one.”

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