Nancy Lacore wrote -
After the repeal of the combat exclusion law this year, President Obama said ‘Valor knows no gender.’ For as long as this country has been fighting wars, at home or abroad, women have been injured and killed in combat zones. The Women in Military Service for America Memorial honors those women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom by keeping their stories alive. Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, 159 women have been killed. The family member left behind face a lifetime of coping with a tragic, though honorable, loss of life – continuing on without wives, daughters, sisters, mothers. Those families need support. Wounded Wear’s mission includes support to these Gold Star families, hosting them at events that honor their sacrifice and empower them to move forward with their lives. [There are specific requirements for a family to be designated as a Gold Star family and not all families of the 159 women killed have been designated as such.]
I had my first contact with both of these organizations this year. Those engagements, coupled with an innate craving for a challenge, generated the concept for this run. This run, the valor run, will cover 159 miles in 159 hours (approximately 6 ½ days). I plan to run 25 miles a day for 6 days and 9 miles on the last day. The run will begin at Wounded Wear in Chesapeake, VA and end the Women’s Memorial in Washington, D.C. Every mile will be dedicated to one of the women who died in Iraq or Afghanistan. I hope that many people will join me on my run – whether just for a mile or for several more than that. If you can’t get to the mid-Atlantic to join me, run with me virtually.
While the primary purpose of this run is to raise awareness of the many women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, it is also a fundraiser for the Women’s Memorial (which keeps their stories alive) and for Wounded Wear (which supports the loved ones left behind).
I am not an ultra-marathoner. I am not a marathoner. I am a better than average runner who will spend 9 months training for this event, supported by my family and friends. I was in Afghanistan from 2011-2012 and consider myself very fortunate to be among those who returned unharmed to their families.