Running the extra mile for Va. Wounded Warrior program
Source: The Flagship
VIRGINIA BEACH — On Oct. 4, Mary Spear will go the extra effort and run the extra mile to help raise awareness for Virginia Wounded Warrior program. In fact, on that day, she will run a 50-mile marathon which is also her 50th birthday.
Spear is a Financial Educator/Counselor for the Fleet and Family Support Center on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story and is married to a naval aviator. Needless to say, she is intimately familiar with military life and the sacrifices they and their families make each and every day in defense of our freedoms.
“Our military members and their families make sacrifices each and every day and many times it goes unnoticed by the general public,” stated Spear. “Many of our warriors have made the ultimate sacrifice for all us to enjoy the precious freedoms that we cherish so dearly.”
“However, many more are living today that either suffer from a combination of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or are working to re-establish their life with missing limbs or other tragic injuries,” noted Spear. “We owe them much for their sacrifices and commitment to our American way of life. I hope, by me running this marathon on my birthday, helps raise public awareness to their sacrifices and the challenges they face every day.”
Spear will begin her run at 5 a.m. on JEB Little Creek running on an approved track on-base. She will complete the first 48 miles on-base and then will transport to JEB Fort Story to finish the final two-miles ending up at the historic lighthouses on-base. She anticipates completing her run around 6:30 p.m.
According to Spear, there are over 820,000 veterans in the state of Virginia with upwards of over 30 percent returning from either Iraq or Afghanistan experiencing some degree of new challenges they must face. Her goal is to bring that awareness to the forefront of the general public.
“Our military members who are serving today are our brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, neighbors, friends and loved ones,” noted Spear. “They volunteer to serve us so we can maintain our freedoms and our way of life. Anything I can do to raise the public’s awareness of the challenges they now face is only a small token of appreciation for the sacrifices they have made.”
To learn more about Mary Spear’s run, log on to www.runningtheextramile.org. To learn more about Virginia’s Wounded Warrior Program, contact either Col. Jack Hilgers (USMC, Ret) at 481-4164 or (804) 382-3715 (Jack.Hilgers@dvs.virginia.gov), or Steven Combs (former Captain, USAF) at (804) 786-0294 (Steven.Combs@dvs.virginia.gov).