On April 2nd, I will be participating in Ironman California 70.3. What makes this one extra special is that I will be racing on the Camp Pendleton base and raising money to help soldiers permanently injured in Iraq and Afghanistan recover through the healing power of sports. I will be racing for team Operation Rebound/The Challenged Athletes Foundation – and have committed to raise $1,000 by March 14th. When I do, I will race alongside eight athletes who have benefited from Operation Rebound.
Part of the reason this cause is so dear to my heart is that I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the soldiers who were seriously injured in battle while they continued their recovery at Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation. U.S. soldiers injured in Iraq are often airlifted to a hospital at Camp Speicher, 42 miles north of Baghdad, then to another military hospital at Camp Anaconda, 60 miles north of Takrit for emergency surgery. Then it’s on to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, and finally returned on a Medi-vac flight back to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and eventually one of four Veteran’s Administration Hospitals or Casa Colina. They endure multiple operations and weeks, months, or years of physical and occupational therapy.
So, when these men and women are finally ready to participate in sports again, I say “Booya!” Let’s help them do it. I realize times are rough right now, but even the smallest donation will make a huge difference. These soldiers have sacrificed so much for us. Let’s do something sweet for them this Valentine’s Day! Please donate right here.
Your tax-deductible donation will go to high-tech running prosthetics, hand cycles, and the special coaching required to use these new devices for U.S. veterans and active military personnel who have suffered a permanent physical disability and served honorably. The Challenged Athletes Foundation is an incredible 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides funding and inspiration to hundreds of physically challenged athletes each year so they can participate, compete and live life to the fullest. Thanks so much for giving the gift of sports. Let’s get these challenged athletes off the sidelines – and into the game!
Happy Valentine’s Day!