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10K run supports veterans

Nicole Michels | Friday, March 30, 2012

Notre Dame’s runners can look forward to another chance to test their fitness this Saturday at the ROTC-sponsored Warrior Run.

Previously named the Race for the Heroes, the third annual 10K run will support of the Wounded Warrior Project, an initiative that aids wounded veterans and their families. This event, sponsored by the service organizations of Notre Dame’s Navy, Army and Air Force ROTC battalions, calls on the community to band together to raise money in support of these heroes.

Patrick Kelly, Navy ROTC’s public affairs officer, said the idea behind this event was to solicit campus-wide support for the heroes who have given so much for their country.

“It’s a great organization in general, and when the run started three years ago I think they were looking to do something that the entire campus could take part in,” Kelly said. “In the fall [Navy ROTC] does a 24-hour run to raise money … but we’re looking for something that everyone could take part in.”

Lizzy Schroff, President of Trident Naval Society [Navy ROTC’s service organization], said the Warrior Run really hit home with the cadets.

“It is a dangerous job in the military… many of us will probably be deployed to and in situations of combat,” Schroff said. “I think it really hits home for us because these people that we’re helping to support will be the men and women that we’ll be serving with when we graduate.”

The Wounded Warrior Project provides crucial services to veterans and their families, Schroff said.

“They provide a lot of different programs, such as financial aid, a combat stress recovery program, physical health programs and financial training,” Schroff said.

Schroff said the Project builds a network among veterans, providing a crucial venue for communication between disparate recovering veterans.

“It’s an open line of communication between veterans,” Schroff said. “Veterans are able to email each other, talk with one another and [have] a collective voice to make their needs and the needs of their families known.”

Schroff said the proceeds will be given to the Wounded Warriors Project. She said she has high hopes for a large turnout despite the close proximity of the Holy Half to the Warrior Run.

“Last year we raised about $5,000, so if we could reach that mark that would be great and if more that would be even better,” Schroff said.

Registration begins at 8 a.m., Schroff said. The race will start off with a tri-military color guard featuring the Glee Club singing the national anthem.

Schroff said the race starts at 9:30 with ROTC and non-ROTC divisions for male and female runners.

“We have a lot of participants who are from our battalions from ROTC,” Schroff said. “We also have a lot of people from outside Notre Dame who are in the community [participating in the race]. It’s a great way to get everyone involved.”

Kelly said the entire community should feel welcome to participate in this race.

“I think people should know that even though at a lot of ROTC events people might feel like they’re not wanted or shouldn’t be included, we really want the entire Notre Dame community to get involved with this and to feel they should be a part of this,” Kelly said.

Michael Falvey, sophomore midshipman in Notre Dame’s Navy ROTC battalion, said the service men and women are fighting for everyone in the community.

“This is something that intimately involves everyone in the community. I think that it is imperative that the community supports these heroic individuals because these individuals give everything they have for the community,” Falvey said.

Chris Patterson, treasurer of Trident Naval Society, said he wants to expand this event in coming years.

“What we do here is close to everyone’s hearts. This is the job we’re going to be doing and these are people who have already sacrificed for their country,” Patterson said. “I want to make this event bigger to reach more people and to get more participation.”

Patterson said this run is special because it’s for a cause greater than the concerns of a single individual.

“I think we try to make it seem as though the run is really a run for something greater than yourself, a run for people who have done very important things for the country,” Patterson said. “We hope to spread that feeling throughout the community.”