I am the daughter of the Air Force and a wife of the Air Force. My husband has served our country for over a decade and I am forever proud of him. He served twice in Afghanistan and, like so many others before and after him, came back home to a world that had no idea what he experienced. I cannot even begin to imagine not knowing if you are going to come back home to your family or witnessing firsthand the suffering of your fellow soldier on a daily basis.
Post-Traumatic Stress, or PTS, is very real and it is not something new. World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan – the men and women who fought in these wars and conflicts saw things no human eye should see. While the lucky ones come home, going from a war zone to blissful unawareness is a very hard transition – especially for those who come home with injuries.
PTS isn’t just limited to those coming home from a war. Police officers and prison guards (to name a few) can also experience the effects of PTS. Police officers see brutal crimes, prison guards have to be on the defense every day. Victims of terrible crimes, natural disasters, even horrific accidents – these individuals can experience the flashbacks and the nightmares, everyday reliving the trauma they have experienced.
The National Institute of Health states that PTS affects about 7.7 million Americans. Those suffering from its effects should know they are not alone and that there are people who can help them get through it. There are also organizations researching effective treatments and improvement of diagnoses for PTS.
On Saturday, August 10 through Sunday, August 11, Always Brothers is sponsoring “100 Miles for One Mind“ Seattle, benefiting One Mind for Research and dedicated to our fallen U.S. service men and women who died in service to our country. I will be a part of a relay team of ten, with each member running ten miles, totaling 100 miles. As someone who is a casual runner, I am fearful of the expanse of miles that will lay before me that weekend, but for my husband, my teammates, and all the men and women who keep our country and our cities safe, I can run 10 miles.
“100 Miles for One Mind” was created to honor the fallen U.S. service men and women from the state of Washington and to raise money for One Mind for Research. The run will begin at 6 a.m. on Saturday, August 10 at Leschi Marina on Lake Washington and will follow a route south towards Pierce County and back into Seattle, ending at Century Link Field, around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, August 11.
The founders of the run, Always Brothers, started off as a fraternal organization of Marines who served primarily on Presidential Guard Duty on the Marine Security Forces Teams stationed at Marine Barracks 8th & I (in Washington, DC), The Presidential Retreat Camp David, the White House and the White House Communications Agency. Always Brothers has now grown to encompass veterans, civilians, friends and family members. As an all-volunteer organization, Always Brothers’ purpose is to create fundraising opportunities to aid the families of fallen veterans or veterans that need assistance.
A few years ago, these brothers decided to embark on a mission to honor one of their fallen brothers. They started with a challenge – who wants to run 100 miles? As everyone knows, Marines will never back down from a challenge. The first run took place in Maryland in 2011, honoring fallen fellow Camp David Marine, Captain Tyler B. Swisher, and raising money for his family. In May 2012, a second run was held, “100 Miles for LIMA Company,” honoring the 22 Marines and a Navy Corpsman of Lima Company who were killed in action. For this run, the Marines and supporting members of Always Brothers raised money for the education of the 15 children left behind by the heroes of Lima Company. Always Brothers deposited the funds raised in to State 529 Plans that were created for the children by their parents and guardians. These funds were in excess of $80,000.
The 2013 run, “100 Miles for One Mind,” benefits One Mind for Research, a Seattle based non-profit organization dedicated to coordinating funding and research for the treatment of brain disease, including post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). One Mind for Research is led by CEO Pete Chiarelli, U.S. Army General (retired) who, as Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, led the Dept. of Defense efforts on PTS, TBI and suicide prevention. One Mind was founded by former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who led the passage of the mental health parity bill, and Garen Staglin who, with his wife Shari, founded the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO). One Mind for Research is currently a division of the non-profit International Mental Health Research Organization, but will soon be a stand-alone non-profit organization.
Saturday, August 10, 2013 beginning at 6 a.m.
320 Lake Washington Blvd E
Seattle, WA 98112
Ph. (206) 325-3730
Please click here to register.