Hi Blogger Friends! This is a slightly edited version of a letter that I sent out to friends and family. I figured that since this is a military wife/running blog, some of my readers may interested as well. If not, no worries! But I am very excited to run for this cause.
As most of you know, my husband James is currently serving as a platoon leader in Afghanistan. It's been a challenging year, but we're about 2/3 of the way through and I'm incredibly proud of him. We've been very blessed to have so much prayer and support from family, friends, and our churches (both in Illinois and Washington). One of the things I've been doing to keep myself busy (and sane so I can be a supportive wife!) is to really pour myself into running. I've made some pretty lofty goals, one of which is to run my first full marathon this year – the Chicago Marathon on October 7th.
Me and James after the Chicago Half Marathon in 2010
Quite randomly, someone left some fliers for "Team Salute" at my workplace. I did some research and learned that they are a team running in the Chicago Marathon. They are associated with "Salute Inc" which provides financial support for Military Families in need. As I mentioned, James and I have been incredibly blessed during this deployment- we've actually been able to save a lot by my moving back to live with family for the year. However, other military families are not as fortunate, and sometimes a deployment or an injury (physical or mental) can leave military families in great financial distress. Salute Inc. is an organization that raises money to help these families.
I was really struck by the story of Salute Inc's founders Will and Mary Beth. After 9/11, Will was called from the Naval Reserves into Active Duty and deployed to Cuba for 13 months. This was of course a tremendous burden for Mary Beth to be single-handedly caring for their three young sons. But Will’s Navy salary was considerably lower than his civilian job, and after 13 months they almost lost their house. With support from family and friends in the community, they were able to survive. Because of their personal experience, they started Salute Inc to help provide for other military families in financial hardship.
Even being a military spouse myself, I was not aware that stories like Will's and Mary's could happen. The military community has been a great support for me and James (while we were in Washington and even while I'm all the way over in Illinois for the year) and I can't think of a better way to give back to these brave families. So while my husband is being a hero overseas, I can do a small part here at home. And I get to do it by doing something that I love- running!
So I’m planning to join Team Salute to run the Chicago Marathon and my goal is to raise $520 for Salute Inc. That's just 20 people pledging $26 ($1 per marathon mile). Would you please consider being part of my support team? If you are interested in donating please visit my support page here.