Why am I running?
I kind of wish I could say that running a marathon was on my bucket list, but to be honest, about 2 years ago I weighed in at 254lbs (exactly 70 lbs overweight) and was looking to buy some life insurance to provide for my family. After getting a standard rate and realizing that while life insurance is a good thing, a longer life would be better, I decided to “get healthy”. I started by eating less fries, more salads, and walking 2 miles per day. Later on, I started counting calories and setting realistic goals of 1 lb a week weight loss. Finally about three months ago, I starting running with the goal of loosing that last 20lbs by the end of summer. Well, I found myself weighing in at 184lbs and running 24 miles a week without my usual shin splints or other aches and pains. While, I ran Cross Country in high school, I never really liked running, this time I have grown to enjoy the long runs, even on 95 degree North Carolina days! On one of those 95 degree days, I thought, "I could run a manathon!", and the rest will soon be history.
In Memory of Jeff Schoenwetter
I am running the Marine Corps Marathon in memory of my friend Jeff Schoenwetter (August 11, 1969 - June 28, 2012), who was my wresting teammate in high school, Marine Corps boot camp buddy, and who fought side-by-side with me in Operation Desert Storm. Sadly Jeff passed away from cancer related to his military service earlier this year and was buried on my birthday (July 2nd).
Jeff and I met and became friends in High School back in 1986 as wrestling teammates. We were both seniors and both at the same weight class (around 150lbs). I never could beat Jeff at a wrestle-off for the varsity seat and I had to wrestle at 185lbs to be on varsity (I didn’t win many matches at that weight). Although I would have liked to win just once, it was difficult to be competitive with Jeff because of his caring and loyal personality. Jeff is exactly the kind of guy who would have run the Marine Corps Marathon with me at age 43, OORAH!
After we largely parted ways in 1992, Jeff went on to become a scuba diving / PADI-Dive Master. He was a 14 year veteran of the Sanford Fire Department serving as a fireman and paramedic. He served our nation as a United States Marine and veteran of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His greatest loves in life were being a Marine and a fireman and spending time with his son, Jacob.
Why Give and why Homes for Our Troops?
As an enlisted veteran of Operation Desert Storm at age 18, I can only imagine what it would have been like to return from serving my country with a serious disability or injury. What I like about HFOT is their focus on helping these largely young veterans to develop and live a more independent life for the next 50 years or so. Think of the lasting impact this kind of help will have on the lives of these vets!
If you live in this great country, you owe it to those who have served to help keep it that way! The veterans who receive help from HFOT are severely injured and the money will help them to live more independent and productive lives. ANY amount will show your support, the more you are able to give, the more they will be able to do.