During the November 15, 2022, City Commission meeting, Mayor Teri Johnston and the Commissioners declared the week of December 5 as Irreverent Warriors Key West Silkies Hike Week.
The Irreverent Warriors organization is a force that unites the veteran community and drives healthy culture within its members. They are known as the catalyst for improving the veteran outlook through creative engagements, events, and strong veteran-based support networks.
The organization's mission is to bring veterans together using humor and camaraderie to improve mental health and prevent veteran suicide.
During Silkies Hike Week, you will see veterans dressed in the tiniest of shorts (aka silkies), and on Saturday, December 10, hundreds of veterans will hike throughout Key West, helping veterans connect to eliminate the 22 veteran suicides a day.
Rodney Martin, Petty Officer Second Class, United States Navy, and local coordinator accepted the proclamation.
"On my last ship," he said, "we lost three sailors to suicide, and one of them was close to me. Twenty-two a day is a very high number. This organization gives veterans a chance to come out of isolation for a good day of positive vibes, good times, and laughter and to let them know they're not alone."
Petty Officer Martin accepted the recognition by wearing his silkies, the military workout garb.
"Don't be shocked or alarmed," he said, "when you see 100 veterans dressed exactly like this because it's for a good cause!"
In the photo from L to R: Commissioners Mary Lou Hoover (at the dais), Jimmy Weekley, Mayor Teri Johnston, Petty Officer Rodney Martin, Vice-Mayor Sam Kaufman, and Commissioner Billy Wardlow.