One of the things that is keeping me motivated right now is the reason why I run and the group of people I run with. When we found out we were going to be stationed at Fort Lewis I was excited about the adventures it would bring. One year ago I read an article in Runner's World magazine about Wear Blue: Run to Remember located near JBLM (Joint Base Lewis-McChord). I searched for the group on the internet, but searching for Run to Remember brought me back many search results. Luckily, I keep all my Runner's World magazines and went looking for the article. I quickly found the article and their website.
I wasn't too fond of the move because I love the beach and warm weather, but knowing I would have an opportunity to run with WB:R2R (Wear Blue: Run to Remember) was very exciting for me. Not only was I going to be able to participate in a running group, but I would be surrounded by people who were running for a cause...and a cause I am passionate about...to run for the Fallen, for the Fighting, and for the Families.
Wear Blue: Run to Remember Mission: Create a living memorial for the service and sacrifice of the American military.
The the very first day I ran with this group, I felt a part of something. I was embraced, accepted, and included. To be honest, WB:R2R helped me get through my husband's first deployment. Not just because of running, but because of the friendships I formed and the sense of community you feel in the group.
WB:R2R Goals are to act as a support network, create a living memorial, and bridge the gap between the military and the community.
It didn't take me long to see that they are meeting all of their goals. Being a part of Wear Blue gives me such a sense of pride. Not only because of the message we carry with us when we run, but because they are truly an all-inclusive group. Everyone is accepted. No matter who you are, you are welcome to join. Whether you are related to the military, a friend of a service member, a gold star parent or wife, or just live in the area, you are welcome. In reality, you don't even need to live in the JBLM area to be a part of Wear Blue and be a part of the community.
WB:R2R is branching out to other areas in the US, but if there is not a group in your area, that doesn't mean you can be a part of the group. All you need to do to be a member is Wear Blue during your races. It's that simple. If you are interested in getting your very own Wear Blue: Run to Remember shirt, click here.
Every Saturday, before we push out for our runs, we make a Circle of Remembrance. In that circle, we take a moment of silence for the fallen, call out the names of the service members who paid the ultimate sacrifice that weekend over the past 10 years in the Global War on Terror, and call out the names of the service members we all run for.
When my husband arrived to his unit, he met the father of SPC Thomas F Duncan III. My husband was moved by the conversation and SPC Duncan became his Ranger in the Sky. I run in his memory every Saturday and every race. He made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the safety of me and my fellow residents of the United States of America. You can learn a little about Ranger Duncan here.
I ran the AMICA Seattle Half Marathon this past November with WB:R2R for Ranger Duncan and for all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Running past the Mile of Remembrance was very emotional. The video below demonstrates what I'm talking about.
If you would like to learn more about what WB:R2R is all about, click here.
To become a member, simply click here and fill out the form. (Remember, you don't have to be a part of the military or affiliated with them in any way.)
If you are not a runner or walker, but would still like to support WB:R2R, you can help by purchasing merchandise or making a donation.
I will be wearing blue during my first ultra marathon in July and am honored to serve as a living memorial for Ranger Duncan. If you would like to know more, please visit wearblueruntoremember.org or comment below.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about WB:R2R and your support.