by Jeremy C. Norris*
William Kocken, of the veteran focused non-profit charity foundation, 4th H.O.O.A.H, Inc, is looking to raise money and awareness for veterans in need by attempting to break a Guinness World record. The record he is attempting to break is the record for the “Fastest Marathon while carrying a 100lb pack.” The current standing record is 6:47:03 and William will be doing the entire 26.2 miles wearing boots to honor veterans past, present, and future. His attempt will happen on May 20th at the Cellcom Marathon held in Green Bay.
William Kocken is the current President of the Wisconsin chapter (4th H.O.O.A.H, Inc) of the organization, H.O.O.A.H, Inc (Helping Out Our American Heroes). The organization currently has eight chapters spread out across the United States with more chapters being created. The Wisconsin chapter was created in 2013 with the goal of honoring and helping Wisconsin veterans and has consistently kept growing since its creation. The organization is completely non-profit and all members are volunteers. 4th H.O.O.A.H, Inc holds events such as the 20 Mile Veteran Suicide Awareness March, A Night for a Life Gala, Operation Tip-Up Ice Fishing Derby, and Veteran Freedom Freefall.
4th H.O.O.A.H, Inc has also paired up with local business in order to provide a larger range of help and donations to community veterans. In the past they have partnered with Broadway Automotive, Waseda Farms Market, Fox Communities Credit Union and other local business. They have also teamed up with other charitable organizations like Bigger Than the Trail, who focus on mental health, which is one of the leading issues with veterans.
William Kocken is also a member of the Wisconsin National Guard where he currently serves as a Sergeant First Class and is in an Active Guard Reserve position as well as an acting Platoon Sergeant with A Co. 2-127 Infantry Battalion in Waupun, Wisconsin. He is no stranger to long distance although the 100 lb. pack is newer territory to him. He has previously done the Cellcom Marathon with a 40 lb. pack and completed the Madison Ironman with a 50 lb. pack. His record breaking attempt is an effort to raise more money for the organization through donations that will be used to help area veterans.
For 4th H.O.O.A.H, Inc’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Hooahwi/
To donate to the record breaking attempt: https://hooahinc.org/event/worldrecordattempt/
*Written by Jeremy C. Norris as part of an internship for Oshkosh Independent via UWO, where he is a senior majoring in Sociology. He is also a leader in ROTC and a cadet with the Wisconsin National Guard, and will soon start a new job as a community-service office for the Appleton Police Department.