Chapter: Lynchburg, VA

Member Since: October 2015

Motto: “Believe you can and you are halfway there.”

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“I saw my first red Eagle Shirt September 2015 at 9/11 Memorial race in Lynchburg. I asked gentleman what it was all about and he shared Team RWB with me. I googled it when I got home, read about it, and found that Lynchburg didn’t have a team. I contacted Team RWB online and soon received a response from Brennan from corporate office in DC. That is where the journey began. I signed up for the Marine Corp 10K in DC that October. I met Brennan at Starbucks in DC the day before the race to talk with him, and discuss starting a team in Lynchburg. I was all in! I ran the race the next morning with thousands of other people. It was truly an honor to be there running that race. It was the first race I ran without stopping. One of the truest statements you will hear me say over and over again is, that I didn’t find Team RWB. Team RWB found me. I needed this team so much and still do. I have always had the heart for the military. Many in my family and my friends have served, and continue to serve, and I was a military spouse for 20 years.”

What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?

“The friendships I have made. My EagleFamily. I have met some amazing people, ran races I never thought I could accomplish, do things I never thought possible This team has taught me everything is possible, and never give up! Team RWB found me September 11, 2015 when I needed it the most. I was in a place where I needed to stay busy, have purpose, and support veterans. I never want a single veteran to feel alone, or without purpose. I want to reach the unreachable especially those with PTSD who need someone to be there and just listen. I want to help military spouses that are going through tough times while their soldier is deployed, or those suffering from the effects of PTSD. There is hope, there is a way, and there are people who do care just like myself.”

favorite #2 (1) (1)

How Do You Serve Your Community?

“I just try to meet the needs of my community when through being a devoted leader on Team RWB, volunteering when I can at either Salem VA hospital or other local organizations. I also make myself available to any civilian or veteran who needs to talk. I always try to put myself in their shoes, and sincerely listen.

What Inspires You?

“I find inspiration in the everyday. Even days I feel weak, and having a bad day, it usually turns around by a smile or kind gesture of a stranger. I’m inspired by those who push through difficulties, and always have a positive attitude. It’s contagious.”

favorite #1 (1)

How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?

“It has taught me to believe in myself, and my capabilities are endless if I push through my fears. And it’s never about me. It’s about being a team.

What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?

“Why not? It’s a wonderful opportunity to give back and meet some of the most amazing people on Earth!”

Chapter: Northeast/Boston

Member Since: 2015

Motto: “Be who you are and say what you feel. Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind are jerks.”

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“Because someone invited me. It’s really that simple. At the time I had recently begun running and was doing well at it, but lost my motivation when I lost my running partner. So I was looking for a run club to keep that personal health going. More inwardly, I was also looking for a social circle to replace one which had proved… unhealthy. An old friend suggested that I look up my local Team RWB chapter. Never heard of it, but it looked like fun. So I went to a weekly run, was greeted with a friendly smile by someone who remembered my name, and the rest is history.”

What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?

“ELA Philly is easily at the top of that list. Though completing my first marathon (MCM 2016) is probably a close second, as well as my first Spartan Race (West Point Sprint). In a more general sense, with RWB I consistently find myself pushing personal boundaries and achieving things I never before thought I could. That’s truly my favorite experience.”

How Do You Serve Your Community?

“Not well enough, if I’m being honest. As an Eagle, we have occasional community service events, such as serving food at a local veterans’ shelter. And as an RWB leader I like to think that we are an example for our community and that there is some intangible benefit for the world as a result of that. But I always feel that we can do more. I just don’t know what.

What Inspires You?

“The people I’ve met through Team RWB inspire me. Every once in a while someone in another circle in my life will come across an article or something and talk about how inspiring that person is. I’ll look over and say, “Oh, I know them!” And by knowing people like that personally, I find that it only exemplifies how inspiring our more unsung friends are as well. We’re all here, we’re all doing this. Some get a photo in the paper, and we just sort of laugh it off as a team. Because we know that this is a team effort and that we’re all here for and because of each other.”

How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?

“It’s impossible to overstate the positive influence Team RWB has had on my life. I’ll spare you the story of the place I was in when I found Team RWB, but suffice it to say it terrifies me to think of what would have happened without this group. The friends I’ve made, the support I’ve received (most of you don’t even realize how much you’ve done for me just by being there), not to mention the significant improvements to my physical health. I mean, who would have ever thought I could run a marathon? Three years ago I couldn’t run to the mailbox. I owe so much to the people I’ve met here.

What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?

“Welcome! We’d love to see you at our next event.”

Chapter: Northeast/Scranton-Wilkes Barre

Member Since: 2015

Motto: “Look for the good in each day. If there’s none, make your own!”

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“I saw the shirts while volunteering at a race and was curious what the team was. I then looked them up on Google and began to read. I discovered what the team was and emailed to find out how to join. I liked the basis of Team RWB. I wanted a place to belong and wanted a way to help others in my community.”

What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?

“My favorite experience with Team RWB was my time spent at an Eagle Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. Getting to be surrounded by like minded individuals who shared such passion and drive to help others was incredible! Memories were made there that will forever bring a smile to my face and light that Eagle Fire within me! That weekend showed me just how amazing this team was-a group of strangers came together and over the course of a weekend, learned how to work as one, helped each other explain their why, grow as individuals, and share ideas to take back to our own communities.”

IMG_0929How Do You Serve Your Community?

“I serve my community through events with Team RWB, such as weekly runs and trivia nights. I’ve also been an active volunteer firefighter since January 2010. Another way I serve the community is just by being there when someone needs help or someone to talk to-sometimes just by showing up for someone is what makes all the difference!

What Inspires You?

“The strength of others inspires me. Seeing how other people live life with a smile on their face, despite what circumstances they are dealing with has always made me realize that life isn’t always a negative experience.”

IMG_8576

How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?

“There is no simple way to explain how Team RWB has impacted my life (but I’ll try). When I first joined this team, I was in a dark place. I felt alone. I had issues with trusting others. Team RWB has shown me what a true community is like. Team RWB has provided me with a solid support system, made up with people who are always there. I have grown into a stronger, more positive individual since joining this team. I am proud of who I am and what I am a part of. Team RWB is so much more than just planning events to get veterans out into the community, it is so much more than just a red shirt and a mission statement. Team RWB is a group of people who complete believes and lives out their Eagle Ethos. This team has improved my quality of life since the beginning-each day I discover a new reason as to why I’m grateful to be apart of Team Red, White, and Blue.

What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?

“Simply put…DO IT! I would tell them every last detail as to why this would be the best decision they would ever make. I would tell someone who is thinking of joining Team RWB that by joining this team, they are not only becoming a valuable resource to veterans in their area, but they are going to be putting themselves into a team that will be with them in every step of their journey in life.”

Chapter: Bryan/College Station

Member Since: May 2016

Motto: “God won’t give you more than you can handle.”

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“I joined because of the friendship and leadership I experienced at the first softball game a filled in for. As I learned more about what RWB stood for and did I knew I had to get involved even more. God was showing me that this is where I can help others and bring a positive light to those who served our country. I love what RWB stands for enriching veterans life through social and physical activates. Building and maintaining partnership with veterans and the community. I wanted to show my son the little effort it takes to appreciate and care for others. To show him how to honor and appreciate those who serve and have served our country and community.”

image014

What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?

“I would have to say that my favorite experience was and still is getting to meet members from other chapters, I traveled to St. Louis in September 2016 and met a few members a Scott Air Force Base. I love how welcoming and friendly other members are. The best experience was coming together for the Watermelon Run for the Fallen and the Old Glory Relay. To see so many different chapters come together to honor the fallen and to honor this country in such a memorable way.”

How Do You Serve Your Community?

“Through building and maintaining relationships with members in our community military and law enforcement fields.

What Inspires You?

“God, my son, the smile of others faces when they accomplish something they never thought they could. I enjoy encouraging others and pushing them beyond what they think they can accomplish.”

image003

How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?

“I have grown a deeper appreciation for veterans and active military personnel. I have personally learned the impact of war on individuals on so many different levels and even learned how strong I could be for others. I have helped a member through suicidal thoughts and PTSD flash backs. I will never forget the time in late October 2016 a member told me that it was because of my inspirational messages and caring heart that saved his life. He was to the point that he was going to end it and at that very moment I had sent them a bible verse that took them out of a trans and realized life was worth living. This member is doing great today and has since sought out help. Moments like these is why I joined Team RWB.

What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?

“Do it! There are so many opportunities for you to serve this community and to get involved with other veterans and civilians.”

Chapter: Team RWB Raleigh/Durham

Member Since: 2015

Motto: “Believe you can, and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“I spent 24 years serving in the AD Navy and Air National Guard with 2 deployments to Operation Desert Shield and Storm. I retired in 1999 while I was still living in California. I felt somewhat isolated as most of my non military friends didn’t have any clue what it was like to serve. Though we had some things in common the most important things like dedication, sacrifice, camaraderie, and service were missing. I was feeling the loss of my fellow military friends. I had no idea Team RWB existed until I found it accidentally on the internet. It looked like something I wanted to be a part of. I didn’t join just yet as I noticed the focus seemed to be on running and I was a “turtle” runner. Many years later I moved to N. Carolina, found Team RWB in my local area, and joined up. Our chapter was dormant at the time I joined but with new leadership we have bloomed!”

What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?

“This is a tough answer as there are so many great experiences. I think one is when we helped a local veteran with disabilities complete the St. Paddy’s 8K. I was one of the 3 photographers who ran around the course to capture all his memories of that run. The 16 mile tribute to the Marines and Navy Corpsmen is another that stands out. No one is forgotten… ever. My greatest experience is just being part of this amazing organization and realizing that we are all in this together, every person matters, and no one cares how slow or fast you are. We are a family who foster relationships with each other in and out of Team RWB events.”

How Do You Serve Your Community?

“I am a part of a 3-person group of veterans who developed our own veteran oral history project in N. Carolina. We have completed nearly 500 oral histories of veterans from the World War 2 era to current time. The oral histories are housed at UNC Southern Historical Life Center. We do this for free and give our veterans as many DVD’s as they like for free. I currently serve as the Sr. Vice CDR of the VFW in Durham. We sponsor Bingo at the long term care center at the VA two Tuesday a month and we visit patients once a month. I am the Veteran Engagement Director of the Raleigh/Durham Chapter and have developed relationships with many different area veteran groups and the Raleigh and Durham National Guard units. I teach impromptu painting classes for free and I paint pictures and gift them to veterans at no cost.

What Inspires You?

“People inspire me. With all the negativity in our country right now, I devote my life to seeing the positive in everyone. I love talking to new people and finding common ground. Painting inspires me. It is my space for solitude where I can tune out, unwind, and create. Team RWB inspires me. The diversity, the community, the veterans, the age differences, the support; it is an amazing group of individuals inspired to support each other as a group.”

How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?

“I can’t even begin to tell you how Team RWB has impacted my life. In my life I have simultaneously worked in 3 different careers; Trauma nursing, military evac medicine, and as a reserve police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department. I have seen war, riots, and death. I spent time in a very dark place. I was seeing a constant slide show of dead, injured, shot, stabbed, and traumatized human beings. People who know me see that I always have my happy face on, but in the background things weren’t so happy. Team RWB has reinvented my whole life. Though my fellow Team RWB members may not know my particular demons, the team as an inclusive, active community have uplifted my life by sharing and embracing all of our experiences.. There is so much fun, camaraderie, relationships, and happiness the slide show is almost non existent now.

What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?

“I tell everyone Team RWB is the best thing that ever happened to me. If you want to experience an awesome group of people who are all inclusive and active, this is where you want to be.”