Last week I got some GREAT news that was very unexpected.
Let me back up a little, so that you understand why it was unexpected, but very cool.
My blog’s name “A Veteran Runnah”, especially the Veteran part is actually a play on words and has three meanings.
1. I am a runner who has been running for quite a while.
2. My age puts me into the Veteran age group when it comes to racing.
3. However, the third Veteran status that I have earned and the one that I am most proud of – a U.S. Coast Guard Veteran.
I spent almost 21 years in the Coast Guard and retired as a CWO3 – Personnel Administration. During my time in the military, I got to see, do and meet people who I never would have met otherwise.
Even though, all I was in the military was a state-side paper pusher; my experience with the expectations and the concepts of loyalty and team in the military are – different from what they are in the civilian world.
In the all the years that I have been “retired” (since 1996), I have often felt like I have been on the outside looking in. I don’t always feel like I fit in with the “civilian” world and how that world works at times.
Okay Harold where are you going with this?
Team Red, White and Blue (Team RWB)
I have been watching the growth of a newer Veteran’s organization called Team RWB for a while now.
However, when I first looked at it, I wasn’t so sure if Team RWB was for us older Veterans or retirees, most of the photos had a lot of younger Veterans and it seemed to be more focused on the Vets returning from the recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The more I read and followed what they were doing, the more impressed I became with the direction that Team RWB is heading. Their organization’s Mission/Vision is:
Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.
Any organization can write a mission or vision statement, but from what I have seen they do seem to believe in this mission/vision statement, by the many activities and outreach efforts they are making to all Veterans.
If you have read “A Veteran Runnah” for any time, you can tell that I do strongly believe in physical activity and its benefits, but I sometimes tend to struggle with social activities. It is not that I am a social misfit or anything, I just haven’t found my niche or the right group of people to socialize with beyond running or work. I just am not a social butterfly.
I am intrigued by possibility of meeting, working out and socializing with other Veterans. So I signed up to be contacted by Team RWB about getting involved. Recently, Laura from the newly formed Maine Chapter of Team RWB, contacted me and provided information on what they are doing locally and some of their plans for the future.
This conversation got me excited about Team RWB and the direction they seemed to be going and the opportunities that could be available in the local area.
My Exciting News
One of the things that really piqued my interest was that the National Team RWB sometimes sponsors Veterans to attend different events and one of those events was the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon!
Hey guess who plans on running this year’s Marine Corps Marathon.
So I figured why not and I put my name in to be considered for a spot on the Team RWB Marine Corps Marathon roster and guess what!
Last Friday I was notified that I had been selected to represent Team RWB at the Marine Corps Marathon in October!!!!
is all I can say and in case you can’t tell – yes I am that excited about this opportunity.
I was told by Team RWB representatives that I don’t have to worry about registering on March 27th (that little 3 hour window when 30,000 people are going to be trying to register all at once, was stressing me out – a LOT more than I want to admit) and while I am not sure of what the sponsorship includes yet, just taking the registration stress off my plate has been a HUGE deal for me.
Oh I am sure that I will still be concerned about the MCM registration, until I learn more and have a more official notification of my acceptance for running MCM under the Team RWB banner . Until then I have to trust that everything is being taken care of by Team RWB.
Strangely enough, especially for an old worry wort like me, I’m not really all that worried about it, even though it is something as important to me as the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon.
From the communications that I have had so far with representatives from Team RWB, I really feel like they want me to be a part of Team RWB, even with all this gray hair that I have on top. This was very important to me, as an older Vet who wasn’t sure about whether I would fit their demographics or not.
Also there is something called honor and loyalty, traits that are very important to me and I get the feeling that they are more than just words to Team RWB as well.
Besides to me it is less about the the sponsorship opportunity for MCM and more about finding something that I have missed – the opportunity to be a part of a team and community, that goes beyond being a job or something I do as an individual.
Yes – I ordered my Team RWB race singlet and I will proudly wear it, when I run in local races up heah in Maine and at the MCM.
It will be interesting to see where this journey with Team RWB takes me, but it is good to be a part of a team again.