Endurance challenge to raise funds for wounded soldiers
Friday, September 07, 2012, 1:59:22 PM
On September 11, 2010, the siblings Ashley and Clay Anderson, both of whom serve in the Navy, crossed the line marking their 185th mile along with their bicycle support team. The brother and sister ran a marathon a day for 7 days in honor of those who serve in the military. Over 150 people watched them finish the endurance challenge that raised just under $7,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), according to the organization's page.
Their endurance challenge met with such support and success that it quickly turned into an annual run. An official leadership team was elected in 2011 to guide the event and direct the funds raised. This year, for its third event, the 185 for Heroes teams will raise money for Operation Second Chance (OSC).
Specialist Mark Lopez is running in this year's challenge, which traces the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Trail (C&O), according to the Military Times. Lopez agreed to run in the challenge because of his friendship with Anderson, who is currently deployed overseas. Before joining the Army nine years ago, Lopez never ran a mile. Now, in keeping fit for active duty, he runs frequently. This run will be a test of his mental toughness and physical abilities. Keeping those that will benefit from the challenge in mind keeps the participants going.
This year's beneficiary is Operation Second Chance, an organization that began in 2004 with one woman performing a simple act of kindness in honor of a friend deployed overseas, according to the organization's page. Cindy McGrew found a news source to keep up-to-date with what was happening with her friend serving in Iraq. Through that source, she learned that 3 soldiers with severe injuries were being sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C., not far from her home. She reached out to the families of the soldiers and offered lodging and help. From there, friends joined in, and now 8 years later, a nonprofit exists to visit and assist the soldiers and their families at the medical center.
Founder and President Cindy McGrew states on the Operation Second Chance homepage that when she stepped into the hospital to visit the soldiers, she never dreamed there would be an organization that would continue serving these men and women 8 years later.
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