Monday, May 27, 2013

Remembering Those Who Have Made The Ultimate Sacrifice- The Purpose of Memorial Day

"They died, unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory" - General Douglas MacArthur

The purpose of Memorial Day is  to memorialize the warriors who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation. A great way to learn about men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice is by getting to know Veterans. Veterans and their family members know that in a moment duty can become sacrifice and many have stories to share. Through their stories community member can learn about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. Someone might ask how do I get to know veterans?

  One approach is through physical fitness events at community level.  Physical fitness activities have a social aspect as well as the obvious health benefits. Think of a 5K or any other event. Community members gather and after the event, people socialize, and build relationships. Same for a workout groups, whether it be walking, running, functional fitness, etc... People who have a shared experience together like physical fitness form and build relationships. Through these relationships people get to know each other and about each others experiences. When community members interact with Veterans they will learn about those who have made the ultimate sacrifice serving this country.

For example, Team RWB chapters run "WOD for Warriors" on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. I did the workout with  a group of friends . All were active duty members,family members or Veterans and knew of others who have been killed in action fighting for this country. We held a moment of silence before the workout to reflect on who we were doing the work out for.

Team RWB-West Point at WOD for Warriors

RWBer's doing the "21 Guns" WOD for Warriors workout

I am remembering (Follow link to view Faces of the Fallen page):

Never Forget!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

MJ's Army and the ALS TDI 5K

This past weekend I ran the ALS TDI 5K in Lexington, MA with my classmates from NNHS Class of '87. The idea for the class to participate in this race evolved out of a discussion me and several classmates had at our 25th reunion last November.  We wanted to support our classmate Mike Jaillet, who is fighting ALS .That idea gained momentum and turned into action over the next 5 ½ months with the class coming together and raising over $5,000 for MJ’s Army which was founded by Mike and supports ALS research.

With Mike and his wife at the ALS TDI 5K in Lexington, Ma on May 4th, 2013.

It was a great race and even better time reconnecting with my classmates, some of whom I had not seen in 25 years. Mike flew in from Austin, TX to make the race. Having him present was positive, energizing, and inspiring. Dealing with ALS is a crucible experience, which by definition are transformative experiences. Mike chose to fight ALS and started an Army which has grown bigger and will continue to grow.  This reminds me of one of my favorite Ted Talks by Derek Stivers, “How to start a Movement”. 

Mike  is leading the way in the fight against ALS and the NNHS Class of ’87 has the courage to join the fight and support MJ’s Army. FIRED UP!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Carry The Load- Carrying The Memories of Fellow Warriors

I was honored to participate in the starting leg of “Carry the Load” this past week.   Carry The Load is a 2,000 mile march from West Point, NY to Dallas, TX and is conducted throughout the month of May to remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, to Honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the country.

Laurie Hollander from Help Our Military Heroes was present as well. She is pictured below with Clint Bruce who is a co-founder of Carry The Load. In January Laurie ran a spinathon to raise money for Wounded Veterans in order to supply them with customized vans. Read more about this event here.

The first leg started at the West Point cemetery and ended down the road at the Fort Montgomery fire station where another team met us and continued walking.

It was pretty inspiring to do it with both the team I work with in CALDOL but also with my teammates from Team RWB-West Point. Everyone carried a rucksack (backpack) to signify “the load” and the walk was a good pace with team members talking and having a good time the whole way. We were all “carrying the load” for someone. I was carrying for numerous warriors I have served with; one of them is LTC Joseph Fenty (See picture below) , KIA Afghanistan, 05 May 2006.

Never Forget!!!  Stay FIRED UP!!!