Matthew Prineas wrote -
This October, I'll be heading to the Grindstone 100 mile trail race, which takes place in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia. The race twists through what is sometimes called the "Rollercoaster," a rugged, relentlessly up-and-down course with a cumulative altitude gain of over 23000 feet and a total mileage of 101.85 miles.
(Blog with a little more info about the running stuff: http://mpleigh.blogspot.com)
The cause for which I am running
This year, I'm running the Grindstone 100 on behalf of The Soldiers Project, an innovative and award-winning non-profit that provides free counseling and support to military service members who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan, as well as to family members, who also struggle with the trauma of war.
The organization relies on the services of licensed mental health professionals who volunteer their time. As a private, non-profit organization not affiliated with any governmental organization, it also relies on the generosity of donors.
For most Americans, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are "over." Wars do not end so easily. While advances in military technology and medicine have meant that many more soldiers survive and are able to return home than in past conflicts, that physical survival can come with a terrible cost to veterans and their families.
Traumatic injuries of all kinds, including mental trauma, depression, suicide, and host of related effects are at record levels among members of the military and their families.
A personal commitment
As an administrator and English professor at University of Maryland University College, a university with a long relationship with the U.S. Military, I have come to see first hand the incredible dedication and resiliancy of military students and military spouses who pursue their education in face of disruptions, uncertainties, and pressures that would derail most of us.
You haven't taught Shakespeare until you've had students reading Henry IV on a a base in Iraq. (Online students, fortunately for me.) These students are a constant source of inspiration and sense of purpose for those of us who work at UMUC.
Over the years, I have also seen the other side of the coin. The human costs of the constant pressures and brutal traumas that come with protracted wars can derail lives. Members of the military and their families always deserve the support of their fellow citizens. This is more important than ever at a time our government, seemingly unable to govern, has failed to adequately support military veterans and their families.
It's up to the rest of us to do the right thing.
How to contribute:
Very simple. Click Donate!
Suggested amounts: .01, .10, .25, .50, or $1.00 per mile. Feel free to round down to 100 miles!
Every little bit helps. Thank you!
Now, I need hold up my end of the bargain, get in those long runs and hill sessions, keep mind and body together, and show up on October 4. Whatever happens, I'll be sure to send you a complete report.
A few links of possible interest