Several of my good friends, including Mike Erwin, West Point grad and battle-tested warrior, have decided to use their love for athletic competition to create a coalition of like-minded life-long athletes to raise awareness and support for Wounded Warriors. This was born the idea behind Team Red, White and Blue.
Here, in Mike Erwin's words, is the dream that has now become reality.
"In a June 2010 study, Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans repeatedly expressed interest in services to help adjust to civilian life. While much has improved since the post-Vietnam era, some polarization between veterans and our society still exists today. Strong relationships between wounded veterans and their fellow Americans are critical to veterans’ reintegration into civilian life as well as our nation’s long-term success. Team RWB believes that our first President summed this up best when he noted that, 'The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.'
As you know, I am very passionate about supporting our nation's wounded veterans....in no small part because I know many of them personally. In 2007-2009, I ran various endurance races to build awareness for wounded vets and to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP). Earlier this year, though, I led the formation of a new charity because I wanted to make the experience more personal for 'everyone in the equation'....the wounded vets, their families, donors, Americans using athletic events to fundraise for them----and everyday American citizens who wanted to express their thanks to wounded veterans through personal interaction. This belief drove the creation of TEAM Red, White & Blue, Our vision is to assist wounded veterans to reintegrate into America society following the completion of their military service to our country.
To help meet this challenge, Team RWB is taking a multi-faceted approach. First, our events help raise awareness and funding. They will connect Team RWB members with other like-minded individuals who want to support wounded veterans by getting involved. Second, we are creating an interactive network using social media and other tools that will enable us to strengthen ties within the community---and reduce feelings of isolation. Most importantly, we want to foster 1-on-1, meaningful relationships between wounded veterans and "Team RWB advocates" who will focus on everyday activities that make a big difference: being a friend, spending time together, meeting up for coffee or dinner and performing small acts of kindness on a personal level.
To help promote Team RWB's mission & vision, over the next 11 weeks, I will run approximately 600 miles , highlighted by the Twin Cities Marathon, the 1LT Joel Gentz M-1 Memorial 54 mile challenge on Oct 17th, the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct 31, the JFK 50 Miler on Nov 20th and the Dallas Marathon on Dec 5th----all to support Team RWB.
So I'm asking that you please consider sponsoring me in these events by contributing to Team RWB. You can make a donation online at www.TeamRWB.com. On the right side of the page is a red "donate now" box. You can click there and it will pull up a 100% secure on-line donation site where you can make a contribution using your credit card. There is a line on this page that allows you to note that your donation is "in support of ____." Please consider putting my name in there so I am able to track the donations I have accumulated for Team RWB. If you feel more comfortable donating off-line, you can make a check payable to "Team RWB" and mail it to:
360 Sedgewood Lane
Ann Arbor, MI, 48103
Team RWB is an IRS-recognized, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible. I know that there are numerous charities worthy of your hard-earned money, but I really believe that Team RWB stands out for its commitment to making personal connections between wounded veterans and the American people. We believe this approach will transform the way wounded veterans reintegrate into society, so thank you in advance for your consideration to supporting this worthy cause! And please share this email and information with your family, friends and co-workers---and spread the word about Team Red, White & Blue.
Thank you and God Bless America!
Founder and Director"
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I encourage you to take the time to visit the Website and learn more about Team Red, White and Blue. Consider, as well, supporting Mike and his team as they raise funds for our Wounded Warriors.