AUGUSTA — All was quite over at the tent encampment of Occupy Augusta as soldiers and their supporters arrived at Capitol Park for the start of a 21-mile hike early this morning to honor veterans.

The 12th annual Veterans Day Memorial Road March on Friday began in the drizzling rain at the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial in Capitol Park and traveled north on State Street, over the lower Augusta bridge to Route 201, ending at the Winslow Memorial Park.

Kennebec County Sheriff and retired Army Master Sgt. Randall Liberty, who organizes the march each year, said it takes between six and seven hours for walkers to reach their destination.

This year, he said the march is being conducted in remembrance of veterans who upon returning from war, struggle to reintegrate back into society.

Liberty said this year participants sought donations to improve the plight of homeless vets. Funds raised will be donated to the Bread of Life Ministries’ new shelter for homeless families and veterans on Hospital Street in Augusta, he said.

“We recognize deployed (soldiers) come back different emotionally and physically resulting in homelessness,” Liberty said Friday. “We want to support the Bread of Life homeless shelter for veterans. It’s really important that veterans don’t end up homeless with all the sacrifices they make.”

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