Sarah Leonard

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Sarah Leonard
Sarah Leonard
United States
Stuff About Me:

Why I Run: Sarah Leonard

By Sam Stanton
Character Does Matter Program Assistant, Travis Manion Foundation

Sarah Leonard was still in high school, playing centerfield on a travel softball team with the Duffy sisters when their older brother shipped off to Iraq. She was a freshman in college when she joined them at a ceremony to celebrate the return home of then local hero, U.S. Army Sgt. Shane P. Duffy.

Soon after that happy occasion, Sgt. Duffy was subsequently re-deployed to Iraq, where he was killed in action in 2008.

Still inspired by the soldier’s willingness to serve and sacrifice, Sarah challenges her limits in several ways. She’s a graduate student at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., where she’s studying for her Clinical Doctorate in physical therapy. She wants to one day treat traumatic brain and spinal cord injury victims at a VA hospital.

Sarah is training to run the Marine Corps Marathon with Team Travis to honor her family friend and fallen hero. On Oct. 28, she will make the 26.2 mile journey, putting her physical limitations to the test with thousands of others, running through our nation’s capital in honor of those who serve our nation.

“A marathon to me is a once in a lifetime event and I cannot imagine running as part of any other team,” Sarah wrote in an e-mail to the Travis Manion Foundation. “The foundation and Team Travis truly embrace core values for which I believe everyone should recognize and support. I take great pride in my country and those individuals that serve in all branches of our military.”

Sarah ran last year’s 9/11 Heroes Run in Stratford, Conn. Though she says she’s only been a “team sport athlete” to this point, Sarah’s registered for a Tough Mudder and a half marathon to better prepare herself for the Marine Corps Marathon.

Sarah says she only met Sgt. Duffy a handful of times, but he left a great impact on their community.

“His sister was more proud of him than anything in the world,” said Sarah. “She was real close to him. He was an overall family guy.”

Sgt. Duffy’s daughter was just under one year old when he was killed. His parents, who set up a scholarship fund in his name, were thrilled when Sarah asked to run the Marine Corps Marathon in his honor.

“I just decided if I was ever going to run a marathon it was going to be for a reason and the foundation sounds like it’s for a pretty good reason,” she said.

Travis Manion’s motto, “If Not Me, Then Who…” is the cornerstone of Team Travis; it rallies individuals to honor the fallen and challenge themselves to physical events and athletic competitions.


Team Travis and Brendan is in its 6th year as an official charity partner with the Marine Corps Marathon.  On October 27, 2012 team members will fight the cold weather and run 26.2 miles to raise money and awareness for the Travis Manion Foundation.  Show your support for our team!

Warriors for Freedom, Brothers Forever

Travis Manion and Brendan Looney were best friends and roommates at the United States Naval Academy.  Today, they now lay side by side at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Travis, a Marine who was killed in action on April 29, 2007 was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star with Valor for his heroic actions.  Navy SEAL Brendan Looney, a true American hero and patriot, was killed in Afghanistan on September 21, 2010.

Since 2007, the Travis Manion Foundation has participated as an official charity partner of the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K.  In 2010 the team name changed from Team Travis, to Team Travis and Brendan.   Participants run to raise funds and awareness for the Travis Manion Foundation as well as honor the sacrifices of Travis, Brendan and all of our American heroes. 

The Travis Manion Foundation inspired by Travis’ words “If not me, then who…”  has an overriding goal of Honoring the Fallen by Challenging the Living. The mission is to assist our nation’s Veterans and families of Fallen Heroes.  We will continue the service to community and country exemplified by these Fallen Heroes and Veterans.  In the spirit of the Fallen, we will foster strength of mind and body to create a generation of future leaders. 

The foundation has three main programs in which they accomplish their mission: 

  • Honor the Fallen- After the casualty officer leaves and support fades, families are left with a loss that forever changes their lives.  The Travis Manion Foundation offers opportunities for children, parents, spouses, siblings and battle buddies to honor their loved one by challenging themselves in uniquely personal ways.  We also partner with the Mission Continues to offer a program that keeps the spirit of service and love of country alive for every Fallen Hero.
  • Character Does Matter - Is designed to challenge young men and women to look for the moments in their lives where they can do good – to recognize both big and small decisions as opportunities to stand up for others, defend what’s right, and help those around; to encourage each and every person to ask themselves “IF NOT ME, THEN WHO…”
  • 9/11 Heroes RunRun.  Volunteer.  Donate.  Cheer.  But most of all Honor.  Inspired by Travis' visit to Rescue Team One in New York City before his final deployment to Iraq, the Travis Manion Foundation holds 5K runs to honor September 11th.  The annual 9/11 Heroes Run is held to remember, honor and support our men and women in the Armed Services, Police, Firefighter and emergency responder communities who protect and serve our country every day. 

The foundation also "Continues His Mission" through Scholarships, Greif Seminars in partnership with TAPS, and service projects.

The selflessness and spirit of service that Travis and all of our Fallen Heroes had continue to be the driving force behind the foundation.  To learn more about the foundation, it's programs, and events please



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Sarah Leonard's Fundraisers

NRH Capitol Punishers Quad Rugby Team Image

NRH Capitol Punishers Quad R…

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0% Raised of$300 Goal

Sarah Leonard - MCM 2013 Fundraising Page Image

Sarah Leonard - MCM 2013 Fun…

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113% Raised of$650 Goal

Team Travis and Brendan MCM Image

Team Travis and Brendan MCM

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