50 for Freedom

On June 9 – less than two weeks from today – I will embark on a 50-mile run to raise funds and awareness for Operation Enduring Warrior, a Richmond-based nonprofit that focuses on the empowerment and rehabilitation of our nation’s wounded veterans.

Running 50 miles – a feat that will be sure to test my limits of endurance and willpower – is nothing in comparison to the challenges faced by the selfless soldiers whose lives have been inexorably altered during the course of defending our country.

Operation Enduring Warrior, guided by an all-volunteer board, uses donated funds to reach out to injured veterans by way of care packages, hospital visits and visits to schools and other groups to spread the word. But that’s just a small part of what this group is about.

OEW’s main focus is empowering wounded soldiers through experiences, proving that their lives can still be full of adventure and achievement despite catastrophic injuries. The team coordinates high-adventure programs such as skydiving, scuba diving, surfing and long-distance endurance events for the veterans, providing a transformative experience for soldiers who have lost limbs or suffered other injuries. But the effect reaches much farther than those who participate – the images and video of the wounded soldiers in action provide a source of inspiration to other veterans who have suffered major, life-altering injuries (and a kick in the pants for the rest of us).

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The OEW team is made up of current and former members of the military. Their trademark is the gas mask, which is worn by team athletes during endurance events to highlight the difficulties facing wounded soldiers. The blacked-out face masks reinforce the anonymity of the team members and drives the focus toward their mission.

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Bataan Memorial Death March in White Sands, N.M.

While I won’t be wearing a gas mask during my run (it will be hard enough already), I do hope to use this as a way to bring awareness and, hopefully, donations to this worthy group. Even the smallest donation can help affect the life of a soldier wounded in the defense of our country. And if you can’t donate, just spreading the word about this run and the organization it promotes would be a huge help. Thank you for your support.

Click here to donate.

Click here to “like” Operation Enduring Warrior on Facebook.

Run details: The run is planned for Sunday, June 9, 2013, at Pocahontas State Park in Chesterfield County. It will consist of four loops of the park’s Fendley Station trail. It is not part of an organized event; the solo effort (and the effort of my support crew) is intended to honor the sacrifices of our veterans.

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If he can ring the bell, what’s your excuse?

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One Response to 50 for Freedom

  1. hi!!! I’m Lacey’s counterpart in Ohio, this is amazing. I made a donation and hope you reach your goal!

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