Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I need to catch up on my course tour...192 days to go!

I'm writing a quick update to express my gratitude to so many who have made pledges to the Wounded Warrior Project. I set a huge fundraising goal, not because I had to, but because I wanted to...and I'm humbled by the support of so many--old and new friends, family, and even a couple folks I've never even had the pleasure of meeting. Today marks a milestone: fundraising crossed the $2000 mark! I've got nearly 17 miles of Western States course to research to match the progress made toward my fundraising goal of $100 per mile for the 100 mile course. Thank you!

In honor of this achievement, I wanted to share one facet of the WWP: a focus on the mind. The WWP website states:

We envision a generation of wounded warriors well-adjusted in mind, receiving support to overcome the challenges in readjustment. Through WWP's Family Support and Combat Stress Recovery Programs, warriors are given the tools to pursue their life goals without the barriers or stigmas associated with mental or physical health issues.

WWP organizes caregiver retreats for those tasked with assisting wounded warriors in rehabilitation. They provide mental health resources, with a particular focus on PTSD, to wounded warriors at key stages in their recovery. Many are available online, and all focus on reducing the stigma attached to mental health issues. They offer an exclusive online community for wounded warriors and their family to support each other. This, in particular, resonates with me, as I've turned to an online community at Runners World Online to support me in my running hobby. I've seen huge strides in my abilities and developed life-long friendships, all at a keyboard and monitor. They also organize
Project Odyssey, an outdoor rehabilitative retreat that combines adventure challenges with opportunities for peer support and group processing, to support warriors in their recovery from combat stress. Many of the retreats take place in national parks across the country, and all offer exciting outdoor challenges like rock climbing, cattle drives, and more, along with the fellowship that comes from any retreat setting. Read more about Project Odyssey here.

These are just a few of the programs offered by WWP in support of these heroes' minds. My journey to Western States, while long, grueling, and time-consuming, is nothing like the journey on which these men and women embark when they return to civilian life after being wounded in combat. In honor of my 100 mile run in June in support of the Wounded Warrior Project, I'd ask you to consider making a donation to this cause.
Thank you!

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