This Saturday was another group run with Wear Blue: Run to Remember. The run itself was just an average, short run. What was special about it (and really it’s special about all the WB:R2R runs) was the company!
First: We have Pippa, a ten-week old vizsla belonging to a group member. She was so soft. It was like petting a bunny rabbit. Puppy fever was at an all time high as we all just stared at Pippa eating sticks and licking dirt. Seriously, most adorable dirt licker ever. I want.
Next: Battle Buddy Julie‘s BFF Megan was in town and joined us! Megan’s husband deployed a few weeks before Stephen, so I’ve followed their deployment journey on her blog. It was wonderful getting to actually meet her in person, run together, and laugh at silly El Paso fashions at brunch. It’s almost time for her husband to return Stateside (yeay!), which is exciting but also hard. Hopefully this weekend was a good distraction for her.
The star of the run: Mike from Mike’s Hiking for Heroes.
Mike is 106 days into a trek across the country that started in Washington state in April and will end when he reaches the Army/Navy game in Baltimore, Maryland in December. He’s traveling 7,100 km (that’s over 4,400 miles) on foot (!!!). His idea is to walk a kilometer for each service member killed in the Global War on Terror. Along the way he is raising awareness, raising funds, meeting with gold star families (those are families of service members who have been killed), and being all around awesome.
He made it a point to join our group on Saturday. Mike spoke briefly, ran a fast 10k, hung around while we ate pastries, then picked up his hike where he left off in New Mexico to hike some more. His dedication to his mission is admirable and inspiring. Hearing him talk made me think, “he gets it.” I mean, of course he does, he’s a service member himself, but still, it meant something to me. To see his dedication and his passion, it reminded me that our struggle is not over, but that we are not forgotten.
You can find out more about Mike’s project on his website. I’d also recommend checking out his Facebook page. He regularly updates it with where he is, how far he’s traveled, and the names of the service members he walked for on each particular day. Godspeed and safe travels, Mike!