This post is made possible with support from Wounded Warrior Project. All opinions are my own.
On October 10, 2020, I will participate in the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Carry Forward 5K, delivered by CSX. The Carry Forward 5K is meant to put the symbolism of “carrying for” a wounded warrior, veteran, or active duty military member front and center. There are several races happening all over the country as well as a virtual race you can join if you are unable to join in on an in-person race.
I decided to participate virtually in the San Antonio race since it is the closest race to me. I am not much of a runner, so I plan to hike my 5K with a 30-pound pack to represent the responsibility veterans carry while serving our country.
What Makes the Carry Forward 5K Unique
The Carry Forward 5K is unique in that it allows you to participate in 3 symbolic ways:
- Carry a flag to show support and patriotism.
- Carry a weight to represent the responsibilities veterans carry while serving our country.
- Carry another person to symbolize one warrior carrying another in their time of need.
Who I am Carrying For
I am carrying for my husband who has suffered from PTSD for the past 12 years. It’s no secret if you have been a long time reader, that I have been an advocate for servicemembers getting proper treatment for PTSD while Active Duty. When my husband was first diagnosed and for the 12 years after, we had to fight to seek treatment for him through the military (he was still active duty). Most of the time, he was not allowed to leave for appointments or told he needs to seek treatment for it during his own time (away from duty hours). As I researched and talked to more and more servicemembers, I quickly found out that this was pretty common. It wasn’t until after they got out that they could finally start to receive something as simple as counseling.
It has been a long, hard road but he has prevailed. He claims it is due to the fact that I helped him carry his demons; I climbed in the dark hole with him to help him fight and bring him out. He just retired from the military this past December after 24 years and we can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.
I am also carrying for those friends who lost their battle with PTSD, most recently a dear friend of mine and my husband’s. Jason, you will NEVER be forgotten! You helped my husband through a dark time, you were able to reach him when no one else could. You were a mentor and a friend to him, and one of my best friends. While I still have trouble talking about your death (or accepting it), just know that I remember all your advice and I will keep moving forward, and we will continue to love each other deeply and be each other’s most trusted confidant.
About Wounded Warrior Project
Not all veterans have someone by their side to help them through the tough times and they should never have to carry their demons alone. That is why I am so thankful for WWP and its mission to help our wounded veterans through programs like the Warrior Care Network which provides clinical care through partner medical centers, providing more than 70 hours of individualized mental health care through a 2- to 3-week program for each warrior. WWP also offers outdoor rehabilitative mental health workshops and telephone support lines to warriors in need.
Sign Up or Donate
You can help support WWP by signing up to participate in a local or virtual race OR by donating to help me reach my goal of $500.
Sign Up for Wounded Warrior Project Carry Forward 5K
I started a squad for the Wounded Warrior Project Carry Forward 5K and would love to have you join it if you plan on joining a race. You can join my squad by clicking here. It will let you know it is for the San Antonio race, but it is being done both in San Antonio and virtually, so don’t worry if you can’t make it to San Antonio!
Help me, help them. It is our turn to stand up for those who have fought for us by supporting the programs they need to live life to the fullest on their own terms. Please donate (I am trying to raise $500)! Every little bit helps, you can make a donation via my donation page here.