This fall, I'll be running my 4th ING NYC Marathon. My brother is a veteran who has served in Kosovo and two times in Iraq. He's the toughest, smartest person I know and I've always looked up to him as a role model. To honor his and all of our veterans' service, each year, I dedicate my training and race to an organization that works to better the lives of veterans. Last November, I was planning to run my 4th ING NYC Marathon for Paws & Stripes. Unfortunately, and for the best, the marathon was cancelled due to the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy.
The number of veterans returning from war affected by both Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and/or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is astounding. Paws & Stripes is an incredible non-profit that aims to improve the lives of veterans who are living with TBI and/or PTSD. They do so by providing service dogs to wounded U.S. military veterans. Each veteran who is a part of the Paws and Stripes program chooses his or her own dog from a high kill shelter local to where they reside. Paws and Stripes then pairs a trainer with the veterans and their dogs, free of cost. The structure of the program allows the veteran to be active in the process of the training, increasing the bond between them and their dog.
It's a huge honor to dedicate this year's marathon to an organization that champions two causes near and dear to my heart: improving the lives of veterans and saving dogs from shelters.
My fundraising goal is $2,500, enough to provide a veteran with his or her own service dog. Insurance doesn't cover service dogs for PTSD/TBI; your donation, in any amount, is greatly appreciated. Please donate to my fundraiser and help improve the lives of those returning home and save the lives of a dog who needs a home.
(I'd LOVE to double my goal as it would help two veterans and two dogs!)