Saturday Spotlight: Jessica Cunningham
Chapter: Team RWB Fort Hood
Member Since: March 2014
Motto: “Pay It Forward”
Why Did You Join Team RWB?
“I returned from my deployment in Afghanistan January 2014 and my unit was disbanded and spread throughout Fort Hood. I felt lost and fell into depression, seeing that Fort Hood was my first duty station which I arrived at three months prior to deploying. My friend was involved in the RWB Pensacola FL Chapter and strongly suggested I tried out Fort Hood RWB. I eventually went to a mud run event with RWB then to dinner. I saw the camaraderie of the group and knew it was a big factor I missed from my disbanded unit. I started to attend running events which I hated at first but then was hooked on running. Running with my Eagle family became the medicine and therapy I needed and I soon began telling everyone at my new unit about RWB where others began joining as well.”
What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?
“My most heart filled experience with Team RWB has been Snowdrop 55 Hour Race/Relay 100 Miler. RWB has become my family, more than some of my own blood family. I’m very close with RWB Houston members. In 2015-2016 I did not finish the 100 miler and was broken, RWB was there to lift me up and point out how far I came. This year RWB crewed for me, stretched, cried, fed, and everything for me. One gave me the shirt literally off of her back and one gave me literally the shoes that were on her feet, all to help me reach that 100 mile goal. But you see, to me and my RWB family, it was so much more than reaching 100 miles. 2016 was an extremely hard year where my life almost came to an end and my RWB family helped bring me through that time and reaching that finish line capped the year with how much growth I had achieved. When I crossed that finish line, my RWB family cried tears of pride and love for me. In the race, just like in life, your friends can support you, but you have to do to work. I realized what my RWB family knew all along, the strength I carried within myself.”
How Do You Serve Your Community?
“I’m very vocal about everything RWB offers and I bring that into my work environment in the military. I participate in races that benefit charities such as the Snowdrop Foundation. I led the Fort Hood book club and post the daily Pledge of Allegiance. I participate in weekly walk/run RWB activities throughout the community. I coordinated and volunteered with the MWR on Fort Hood that held 5K races where we would help with registration and road blocks, set up and break down. More importantly, I serve my community by sharing my story with strangers that need a light. RWB has been a light for me and I pay that forward for others to at some point get to a place where they can shine their light as well.“
What Inspires You?
“What inspires me is seeing people achieve what they once thought was impossible for them, and to see the transformation they go through during that time.”
How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?
“RWB has literally saved my life. I have struggled with depression at times and went to a very dark place where I didn’t think I was going to climb out of. RWB reached out to me, they grabbed my hands and helped pull me out of the pit. Without my RWB family, I don’t believe I would be here today. I will forever be grateful for RWB.”
What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?
“ABSOLUTELY DO IT!!! RWB is the kind of family everyone needs. We offer acceptance, love, an ear to listen, physical and social activity. We’re a pretty awesome family.”