many of you know, I recently returned from my second deployment to
While deployed, I had read about several marathon
runners and their training regiment along with their sacrifices that lead
to tremendous accomplishments. I had imagined what it would be like to
cross the finish line and put the 26.2 mile race behind me. I imagined the
intensity that must be felt. I decided to begin an 18 week marathon
Whether or not I decided to run the race in the
end was a different story. I figured, at least I'd get in good shape and I
would occupy some of my down time.
Sometimes I'd run outdoors but I
found it difficult running on the rugged terrain around our post. I'd
spend several hours running indoors on the treadmill. Several people would
come and go while I'd remain on the treadmill listening to music on my
iPod, trying to get the mileage behind me. One of those people was Sgt.
He had noticed that I was not running an average run
to stay in shape. I was covering much more distance and staying on the
treadmill for much longer than anyone else.
I'd roll out on
missions in his truck and at times we'd spend a few hours dismounted.
Sometimes in villages, sometimes surrounded by mountains. It gave us a
chance to exchange stories about ourselves. He learned of my goal to run a
marathon (or at least try). He had become genuinely interested in my
efforts. He was almost in shock that I had even thought about such a
As days and weeks passed, he never forgot what my goal had
been. He'd ask how my training was going and how many miles I had covered
that day or that week.
The longer the runs became the tougher the
training was on my body and my free time. As the weeks continued my runs
became longer. I became bored with the continuous runs and decided that I
would not continue on with my marathon training. When Sgt Rivera had asked
me one day how I was doing and he learned that I was no longer pursuing my
goal, he smiled and made an attempt to encourage me to continue, but
understood where I was coming from. I felt like I had almost let him down
since he was one of the very few to take an interest in the goal I had set
On May 25, 2010, SSG Edwin Rivera was killed due to
injuries he had sustained when our combat outpost received indirect
On October 15, 2011, I will be running
26.2 miles in the ING Hartford Marathon. I will be running with Sgt.
Rivera by my side motivating me and pushing me along each step of the
I have decided to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project
in honor of SSG Edwin Rivera. This organization helps warriors that have
sustained injuries in combat and have returned back to the United States.
These wounded warriors are helped in numerous ways. They are given a
chance to live a normal life by accomplishing things they never imagined
possible like skiing, playing basketball, skydiving. They are given a
chance to accomplish their goals, just like I have been given the
opportunity to accomplish mine.
The Wounded Warrior Project plays
an active role in the veterans' life by providing mental help, employment
assistance, physical rehabilitation and much more.
Please help in
supporting my efforts to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Your
contribution is greatly appreciated by myself, as well as the thousands of
wounded warriors that will benefit from your
Below is the link to the web page that has been set up for
my donations through the Wounded Warrior