Team RWB enriches lives of veterans
September 4, 2013
If you have been to an event in the Vicenza Military Community recently you might have noticed a group of people wearing red shirts with the letter RWB on them. Service members in the VMC looking for activities for the whole family, including social and physical, should look no further than Team RWB.
"Team RWB was created to enrich the lives of veterans through physical activities and social events," said Maj. Scotty Autin, Italy chapter captain. "I ran some Team RWB races in the Houston area and it was through those events I really learned the value of the organization and how they can enrich the lives of our veterans."
While Autin was learning about RWB in Houston, Sgt. Ryan Friedrichs was running a 54-mile marathon in Michigan with Team RWB to remember a fallen service member. Friedrichs made a commitment to start a formal chapter in Italy after returning from deployment with 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne).
"Getting a Team RWB chapter started in Italy has been much easier than I'd ever imagined," said Friedrichs, who is the team's director of veteran outreach. "In just a few months we have more than 200 Soldiers, veterans and family members officially signed up for the chapter."
One of the first events the group participated in was a 5-kilometer race on Caserma Ederle June 28. Since then the group has completed events such as the Run to Remember at Caserma Del Din in July, a "Tough Mudder" competition in Germany, the "Vicenza's Strongest" weightlifting competition, hiking the 52 tunnels, the USO Summer Bash and other daily workouts as a group.
"Every member is encouraged to be an event leader and post an event or activity on our Facebook page that they would like people to attend with them," Friedrichs said. "With our larger numbers now this is beginning to happen more and more."
Future events on the Team RWB calendar include the Milan Color Run Sept. 7, Run to the Tower in Pisa in October and an all-day relay race on 9/11.