Showing a new kind of support for wounded Veterans
November 8, 2010
(November 8, 2010)-From riding a bike across the nation to participating in local runs, showing support for Veterans has seemed to take a more physical fitness friendly approach than in years past.
On Nov. 5 retired Army officers Doug and Deb Adams made a pit stop here at the Army War College on their "DutyHonorAmerica Tour," across the nation, through every state. There is just one catch; Doug is doing it all on his Cannondale bicycle while Deb drives the "chase van."
"Dad told me about ministering to veterans, and he turned to me and asked, 'What are you doing to help them''" Adams said.
And so, Doug Adams is on his way. He's covered the first thousand miles in a 16,000 mile journey. After a year of training, Adams started his journey at Fort Drum, New York, with Lewis in support. He's enroute to his last stop in Hawaii, and the big hurdle on the horizon is the Rockies in June.
"When I think of the next mile, I don't think of an individual soldier," he said. "I think of the Soldiers deployed for this year while I'm cycling the nation. I think of the Soldiers in the mountains and cold of Afghanistan. I think of urging veterans who need help to get it, and those who can help, to offer it."
This weekend a small number of runners from the Army War College community traveled down to Mount St. Mary's University in Emitsburg, Md. and participated in the Run with Dennis, a worldwide run which raises money for wounded warrior projects across the services.
This year marked the fifth year for the run, named after Lt. Dennis Zilinski, a Soldier with the Rakkasans of the 101st Airborne Division and a New Jersey native who was killed in Iraq, November 19, 2005. The official three and half mile race kicks off each year at the PNC Bank Performing Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ, but other "shadow" runs are held across the nation and in other countries, even at military outposts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Participating in the Emmitsburg run and supporting wounded warriors through their footsteps were several members of the Dunham Army Health Clinic and the Army War College community.
"I like to race, and like it even more when it is for Wounded Warriors or fallen-comrades causes," said Lt. Col. Charles Unruh, deputy commander for administration at the Dunham Medical Clinic. Unruh was joined by Sgt. Corey O'Connor and Senior Airman Carrie O'Connor at the Run with Dennis.
This year's beneficiary is the Brendan Marrocco Road to Recovery Trust. Marrocco became the first quadruple amputee of the Iraq War on April 12, 2009 after the vehicle he and other soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division were riding in was hit by an explosive fired projectile. The goal of the trust is to raise enough funds to build Marrocco a handicap accessible home that can support him as he returns from Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Currently, Spc. Marrocco is awaiting an arm transplant and continues to mentor new Walter Reed patients with similar wounds.
Still looking for more ways to show support for Veterans' There is another running opportunity right here in Carlisle with the Dickinson College ROTC, this Thursday, Nov. 11, kicking off at 6:30 a.m. behind the ROTC house at 450 W. High St. For more information, please call (717) 245-1221.