“It’s great to see the community, especially on a cold day like this, come out and support,” says Jeff Kyle who spent eight years in the Marine Corps.

The Veterans One Stop 1k “VeteWalk” and 5k “VeteRun” were held at Heritage Square in downtown Waco.

The Navy Band performed in connection with the city’s Navy Week celebration, but this fun run is a celebration of all military branches.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize what they have done,” says Butch Mogaverro of Boulder Designs.

“It’s been a lot of effort from a lot of people.”

He’s one of the race sponsors and with a father and brother who served in the Navy, he was anxious to give back to veterans after his company’s expansion.

Christopher Wolff is enjoying the comradery after serving as an air force tech sergeant for 11 years. He’s been paralyzed since 2008 when he received a flu vaccine after returning from duty overseas.

“You come together, and it’s like being in a brotherhood again,” says Wolff.

He says the benefits of an event like this go far beyond fundraising.

“Being able to do physical fitness helps veterans breakthrough traumatic brain injuries and especially control their PTSD,” he says.

He is the Director of Veterans Services for Guardian for Heroes, which provides gym memberships and equipment and life coaching for veterans.

“When you’re doing something actively it takes away the thoughts that are taking over your life,” says Wolff.

Some veterans say bringing civilians and the military together can also help break stigmas about mental illness.

“We’re normal people- we’re just trying to find our way in life again,” says Kyle who was deployed twice to Iraq.

He is the brother of deceased Navy SEAL veteran and sniper, Christopher Kyle and now works through the American Valor Foundation to support military personnel and their families.

“I’ve seen both sides of it- trying to be a civilian again. I’ve gone through the struggles. I’ve seen my brother’s go through the struggles, and I’ve lost so many brothers due to suicide,” says Kyle.

“I just want to continue to serve and be able to reach war vets and get with their families and assist them any way I can,” he says.

He and other veterans hope the fundraising and awareness from the VeteRun event help to create a support system built on understanding, for a stronger community where no one is left behind.

The event raised more than $5,000 for programs at Veterans One Stop.

Post taken from: 10 KWTX 


By Chelsea Edwards | 

WACO, Texas (KWTX) A freezing spring morning isn’t exactly the perfect day for a run to most people, but many showed up anyway.

Photo By: Chelsea Edwards