In just under a week, I will be running in the Army Ten-Miler for the third time with this one arguably being the most important yet. Many of you who know me are aware of my overt and sometimes provocative competitiveness especially when it comes to physical and endurance events. It would be wrong for me not to admit one of the reasons I look forward to running in this race. However, running for self-gratification is by no means the focus for writing this letter. My intent is to further raise awareness to support fundraising efforts for my friend, Ryan Davis. Ryan, who is a well-known and respected leader within his community, serves in the Army out of Savannah, GA. Anyone who knows Ryan is impressed by his work ethic, congenial attitude, and natural sense of compassion for his subordinates and peers. At work when many people seem rattled by challenging or stressful experiences, Ryan consistently embodies a sense of calmness with a spirit and smile that is contagious. I can recall more than one instance when I’ve engaged in small talk with Ryan only to walk away from the conversation motivated by his unwavering positive attitude. Today, while facing significant life altering circumstances, Ryan is still proving to be a beacon of resiliency and inspiration. This summer while deployed overseas, Ryan was seriously injured performing his job in a combat environment. On the day Ryan was hurt, he lost both of his legs as well as his right arm. Undoubtedly, Ryan is undergoing a long road to recovery, the likes of which is difficult for anyone to fathom. Yet, with each passing day, Ryan is consistently making improvements. Just recently, Ryan was fitted for a prosthetic on his left leg. Although it’s been several weeks since I’ve seen Ryan due to his location for rehabilitation, he continues to wear the same smile in nearly every picture I’ve seen of him. Therefore, in order to fundraise support for Ryan’s recovery, I will be running in the Army Ten-Miler in Washington D.C. for Lead The Way Fund (LTWF) on October 13th. LTWF is a non-profit organization that “is an active duty, casualty assistance, recovery, transition and veterans’ organization.” As a 501c3 non-profit, this veterans’ organization is unique from most others because it is exempt from federal taxes and the salaries of the employees are paid for by the government rather than from a percentage of fundraising efforts. While running in the Army Ten-Miler is an awesome experience in and of itself, doing so on behalf of LTWF is rewarding because of its contributions to families like Ryan. I will start by putting in $500 and hope that each of you can make a contribution as well. There is no required amount that I am asking for, but whatever you are able to give is greatly appreciated. You can donate online through my page by copyingand pasting the URL: https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign-manager/timothyclarke4/running-for-ssg-ryan-davis/campaign . This page will stay open for a while after the race so please spread the word.
If you're interested in knowing a little more about Ryan's story, below are links to articles that were written upon Ryan's return back to the states.
If you've made it this far, thank you for reading and hopefully I will see some of you on race day!