This Veterans Day, in honor of the men and women who have served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Marine Sergeant Brendan O’Toole (Ret.) will begin a 3,600-mile run in Oceanside, Calif.
Averaging 15 miles a day, O’Toole is pounding the pavement across 21 states in the hopes of raising $2 million to support the United States armed forces veterans, combat veterans, disabled veterans and their families.
Inspired by the classic movie “Forrest Gump”, O’Toole said he has always wanted to travel across the United States. But serving in the Marines forced him to put that dream on hold.
“When I retired from the Marines this year, I knew I still wanted to run across the country, but I wanted to dedicate [my run] to a cause higher than just myself and give back to the community,” he said.
During his service, O’Toole saw many of his Marine brothers struggle to reintegrate back into society after they served. One of O’Toole’s close friends had a difficult transition from the battlefield to home life and struggled with post traumatic stress.
Ultimately, this friend took his own life. O’Toole said that The Run for Veterans is for friends like his and other troops around the nation who need a support system and guidance during their transition.
All of the money raised by the Run for Veterans will be donated to the USO, Team Red White and Blue and Give An Hour. Each organization was chosen for the physical, mental and social support it provides to our troops. The USO is proud to be a part of the Run for Veterans’ inspiring mission.
The Run for Veterans welcomes all warriors, veterans, and civilians to run alongside O’Toole throughout the route, as a show of support for our servicemen and women.
- Start: Oceanside, Calif.
- Twentynine Palms, Calif.
- Parker, Ariz.
- Phoenix, Ariz.
- Socorro, N.M.
- Dallas, Texas
- Shreveport, La.
- Jackson, Miss.
- Birmingham, Ala.
- Atlanta, Ga.
- Columbia, G.a
- Raleigh, N.C.
- Richmond, Va.
- Washington, D.C.
- Annapolis, Md.
- Wilmington, Del.
- Philadelphia, Pa.
- Princeton, N.J.
- New York, N.Y.
- Providence, R.I.
- End: Portland, Maine
To learn more about The Run for Veterans and O’Toole’s route, check out their Facebook page or visit their website at http://www.therunforveterans.org/. If you would like to support The Run for Veterans, donate here.
Good luck to Sgt. O’Toole and all who join The Run for Veterans! Your dedication to supporting our nation’s veterans is truly an inspiration.
—Sarah Camille Hipp, Communications Specialist