In early 2001, I registered to run the NY Marathon, to be held on Nov. 4th of that year. I was running for me: to prove I could do it; a "bucket list" thing. At the time I signed up, none of us could have predicted the atrocities that would occur several months later on the fateful day of 9/11.
Upon arriving in NY city just days before the race, the rubble was still smoldering, the stench of burnt plastic and steel was still strong down around Ground Zero and the hole in the skyline where the Twin Towers previously stood was eerily palpable.
2.7 million service members have been to the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, and over half of them have deployed more than once. Many times that number of Americans have borne the costs of war as spouses, parents, children, and friends cope with their loved ones’ absence, mourn their deaths, or greet the changed person who often returns.
Many Iraq and Afghanistan veterans face a life of disability due to the physical and psychological injuries they sustain in the war zones. Nearly 1 MILLION veterans have some degree of officially RECOGNIZED DISABILITY as a result of the wars. Many more live with physical and emotional scars despite lack of disability status.
The current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been more difficult for military families than have past wars, with more frequent deployments and shorter periods at home. In comparison to the civilian population, Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are facing elevated rates of suicide and mental illness, drug and alcohol dependence, car crashes, and homelessness.
THANK YOU! Your support allows us the opportunity to further the WWP mission – to honor and empower Wounded Warriors.
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) strives to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation's history. Our purpose is to raise awareness about the needs of injured veterans, while providing unique programs and services that aid in the rehabilitation of our nation’s wounded heroes. WWP takes a holistic approach when serving warriors and their families to nurture the mind and body, and encourage economic empowerment and engagement.
In 2001, I ran for me; this time I run for THEM!