Recently I read this powerful post about how the Suicide rate for service members is 5 times higher than the KIA (killed in action) rate. It motivated me to get off my duff and write about this very special group called Team RWB (red, white & blue).
Being born and raised in an area peppered by more military bases than I care to count, I have developed a special connection to the military. We have active bases for the Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force & Coast Guard in this greater metropolitan area. As such, it is nearly impossible to avoid meeting someone who has served, is dating/married to, is related to or is serving in the military around here. Sadly, many of the homeless here are also veterans.
Literally, I have treated, dated, run with, partied with, been friends with various service members throughout my life. As a result, I often support the military members in various ways through actions and donations.
About half the members of my crazy runners tribe are either active-duty or retired military. One of them, a nuke, introduced me to a national support group for veterans: Team RWB. This non-profit group facilitates social and athletic events between civilians and veterans. Most of the events, at least for my chapter, are athletic in nature. There is no fee to become a member, just an email address and the donation of your time.
The non-profit does make its money through the sale of merchandise with the “Eagle” brand. At events, members wear our Eagle gear proudly to easily identify one another. It is a source of pride to do so. While I am not as active with the group as I would like to be, I sport their red polo shirt for “Red Shirt Fridays” to energetically support the troops.
While I do not always agree with the bureaucracy of the military, I do believe that service members who have laid their asses, freedom and livelihoods on the line for us need to be as fully supported as possible. It is sad for me to hear of veterans surviving wars abroad and are unable to survive the wars they fight from within. Preferring to die instead at their own hands. The least I can do is run races with them, and act crazy, while showing them my support.
Early on, I bonded with my father, who had two daughters, through watching war movies and touring military bases as well as listening to him spout war history. At a young age he and I put together models of aircraft. Needles to say, I was unable to miss the SR-71 that appears is Deadpool…
Pro-Peace & Pro-Military: The Seeming Contradiction
Image: this is me celebrating the M.C. correctly pronouncing my name as I prepare to cross the finish line for an 8K in November 2015. No, I don’t usually run with my hands over my head =)