In 2012, 3rd Ranger Battalion veteran US Army Corporal Cory Smith came home from two combat deployments to a failing marriage and emotions of grieving the loss of a few friends killed and wounded in combat.
In 2013, Smith decided to highlight the difficult journey of coming home in a very public manner by running 565 miles from Columbus, GA to Indianapolis, IN. The goal that kept him motivated was to be able to hold his baby girl in his arms again. Smith ran home. Along the way many supporters and brothers of Smith motivated him by saying “Run Ranger Run.” Thus the birth of Run Ranger Run. Did you get a nostalgic feeling of Forrest Gump? I did. Sigh.
Fast forward, to 2017, you can now join Cory and several others to make a difference right where you are and by being part of the the annual Run Ranger Run benefiting GallantFew, Inc. Teams of up to ten individuals pledge to walk, kayak, run, bike or even longboard (we prefer Kota Longboards) a combined total of 565 miles in the month of February. They will raise funds for GallantFew and increase awareness for stated veteran issues. Registration for 2017 opens on October 1, 2016.
Veterans continue to battle record high levels of unemployment, under-employment, homelessness and suicide. The most recent Department of Labor Statistics from July, 2015 show Global War on Terror veterans are 37% more likely to be unemployed than a person who never served and two times as more likely to be unemployed than a Desert Storm era Veteran. The VA reports twenty two veterans take their own lives daily, and active duty suicides have averaged one per day. We all can and do make a difference!
GallantFew’s motto is “Revolutionary Veteran Support Network” and there are so many incredibly hard, yet uplifting, stories that come from this organization. Most recently, I was informed of this warrior’s fight to move past his inner demons (no names or location will be mentioned in order to protect the identity of this soldier): After battling substance abuse for a while, a young warrior’s family decided to make the call to the GallantFew organization. Due to the revolutionary network that GallantFew has created, that warrior was able to fly, free of charge, thanks to American Airlines. This young man was flown to a specific treatment facility to help him push past the addiction. As he was getting off the flight, he was greeted by two Rangers to help their brother realize that he is not alone. They walked with him to the bus, promised that they will visit him and will see him through to a brand new life. This warrior is still in treatment and we, at Havok, wish him nothing but the best.
So now you see how Run Ranger Run brings awareness and relief to what our veterans are facing daily. The dollars you donate and the miles you run, row, bike or swim all go to our veterans seeking assistance through GallantFew. Your miles will change lives.
In addition, there are a few kickoff events that are happening around the U.S. that will be posted soon. For active updates about Run Ranger Run follow them on Facebook.
Together we are in this! Together we will lead the way.