Saturday Spotlight – James Cooper Cole

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Chapter: Southeast-Shreveport/Bossier

Member Since: September 11th, 2014

Motto: “Tomorrow is a new beginning.”

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“I first heard of Team RWB at a local community event, which was the 9/11 Moving Tribute. I had just joined the local running group in Shreveport hoping that would give me a sense of belonging, or maybe a purpose. In 2014, I was in a very dark place and gained a tremendous amount of weight. I remember that night like it was yesterday, I decided that I would no longer feel sorry for myself or cry over anyone else. The next day, I started out by placing one foot in front of the other, watching what I ate, and cutting out alcohol. I ended up loosing 40 lbs that year, I was so excited when I signed up for my first 5K. I found a running group that summer, and they suggested to partake in the local Team RWB event on 9/11.  I showed up an hour early, still not sure what to make of the whole thing. I felt a little empowerment while I was running with the Flag, with others around me pushing me on. It was not until later, when I got home, that I did my research on Team RWB, and I knew in that moment my life had changed. The ironic thing is, a few days earlier I was searching veterans organizations to join, but none seemed to fit my needs. That day forward, tomorrow has always been a new beginning and yesterday was a thing of the past.”

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

“Gosh, I have done so many events, and I enjoyed every one of them! I do not believe that I have had any bad experiences. The event I enjoyed the most was the Old Glory Relay. I was a Team Captain in both 2016 and 2017. For me, the experience was extremely memorable and will never be forgotten. Both years, the teams came together with different backgrounds for the common purpose to keep the Flag moving at all times. The various communities that came together, connecting as we by passed through with Old Glory, made this is by far the most epic event to partake in.”

How do you serve your community?

“I am the Chapter Captain for Shreveport/Bossier for the past two years. Our most impactful event would be our 9/11 Moving Tribute. We had such a great showing of support from the community, local law enforcement, and the fire department. I am on the board of the local Running Group within Shreveport. I helped with the Shreveport Police Department and the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office Media & Torch Run and the the relay in support of the Special Olympics. For the last two years, I had lead out monthly fun runs in the support of St Judes and most recently I ran with Ainsley Angels in a race.”

What Inspires You?

“Individuals who have a heart and passion for others. Everyone has a story, I always encourage people to share theirs. You will never know who will be affected by them. Be a good listener and help share  someone else’s stories. Sometimes that’s all it takes to inspire others. When I see Eagles that will go out of their way to help or assist another, that inspires me. They do not ask for anything in return. I see this within my own Chapter and it inspires me to be a better person and a better leader every day.”

How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?

“It impacted my life tremendously. Team RWB gave me a “sense of belonging,” a purpose, a new outlook on life, a new tomorrow, and a new beginning. I want to be able to pay it forward and continue to enrich the lives of our veterans. I was able to get myself out of a dark place, but there are veterans that might need a helping hand or push in the right direction. I definitely show the Eagle Ethos everyday with my Eagle Fire.”

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

“Just do it! Let me assist you in joining Team RWB. Team RWB is a national organization, you will see other members and chapters if you move or go on vacation, and you will be accepted. No question asked. The whole family is welcome to be a part of the organization, and best of all; it’s free! There is no obligation or commitment, just come on out!”

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