UPDATE: Many have asked how many miles each of the guys will be completing. The answer is: 64!! They will EACH be hiking 64 miles!
You might be asking WHY a person might choose to expose themselves to this type of crazy, right? They are raising money for Rock Valley Community Programs HOMELESS VETERANS program. (Please visit their website to learn more about the program, and other ways you may be able to help our nations heroes! http://housing4ourvets.org/ ) A cause near to all of their hearts, Joel, Derrick, and Dick all served in the Marines, and Tony is a former military brat of a retired AF Officer. If they can strap up their boots and trek 64 miles through the highly glaciated areas, in frigid temperatures and snow, within a 24 hour timeframe, can YOU pledge their success and help our nation's heroes when they need us the most?! (All donations are tax exempt!)
Please take a moment to read a note from each of the guys on why this run is important to them:
On January 19th, 2014 I begin a trek through Kettle Moraine State Forrest with three close friends to raise both funds and awareness for the homeless veterans housing program, Housing 4 Our Vets. This program especially important to me because of my experience with recently discharged veterans. Although most see the typical homeless veteran as someone who has served in the Vietnam era (or earlier), I have interacted with several recently discharged Marines who have also fallen on hard times. Without the direct support system they've grown accustomed to, it seems transitioning to independent living is often more difficult than expected. As a Marine reservist who has acted as a liaison with several support facilities for these Marines, I have come across dozens that have found themselves in unfavorable living conditions. Housing 4 Our Vets offers studio apartments to help with the present situation and supportive services meant to change lives forever. Please show your support in serving those who have served us by sponsoring me for this 24 hour race through some of Wisconsin's most rugged terrain.
As a Marine, it saddens me to see so many of my brothers and sisters completing their tours of duty only to return and lose the fight here at home. These Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen are returning with wounds that cannot always be seen. They suffer from things such as Post Traumatic Stress, depression, alcohol and drug addictions; they are desperate in a job market that doesn't recognize our skills because they don't have paper degrees or certifications like that of our civilian counterparts. I am competing in this race to raise awareness and to contribute funds to an amazing program that assists veterans transition back into safe, sober, independent living. Housing 4 our Vets not only provides housing and a healthy diet; it combines all available resources to aid the veteran in getting their life back. This includes individual case management, job training and placement, transportation, education, group and individual counseling, recreation, and a solid support structure. Please join the cause by sponsoring me in this trek for our Veterans.
The reason why I am doing this race is to raise money for honor our veterans and if all it takes is 64 miles of cold and misery and walking with three of your good friends that will never quit on you or allow you to quit on them, then it's well worth all 64 miles. Veterans give so much more than that, for them to come home and struggle through life, it doesn't seem fair to me. I am proud to help Housing4OurVets and to be able to give back a little. For my father, brother, uncle, grandfather, friends, and to all that have served our country, this race is for you. Please help us honor our veterans, and pledge. Thank you.
I joined the Marine Corps back in 2005 and served 5 years before getting out. I am now a veteran attending college to start my career in the civilian world. When my friends first told me about the Fat Otter race I thought it would a crazy and fun hike to attempt. Then they told me about trying to use to the hike to help raise money to vets without homes. I know some vets have a harder time at it than others when they come back. I think this would be a good chance for me to help them out. I am now more motived to attempt and complete this crazy, frozen, grueling hike for the other vets, and will give it my best.
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