Saturday Spotlight – Kevin Neill
Chapter: Northern Delaware, Mid-Atlantic
Member Since: 2013
Motto: “Live your life one day at time and enjoy it.”
Why Did You Join Team RWB?
“I moved to Bethesda, Maryland from Newark, Delaware when I was first dating Jocelyn in 2013. She was working at Walter Reed and had heard about Team RWB through her prosthetic patients at the hospital. Since we were new to the DC area and Jocelyn is a runner and triathlete, she was looking for local training partners. The Team RWB Wednesday night runs at the National Mall in DC were hard to get to after work, but soon a new Wednesday night MoCo (Montgomery County) run started just a few blocks from our apartment in Bethesda, hosted by Steve and Kerry Lim. Jocelyn started to go and really liked the group, but since I’m not a runner at all, I would meet them at the post-run social so I could get to know the awesome Eagles… who are still some of our closest friends.”
What has Been Your Favorite Event or Experience with Team RWB?
“I’ve had so many great experiences while being a part of Team RWB, so this is hard to choose, but I have two:
– The Mid-Atlantic Triathlon Camp in Richmond, VA (June 2017) which I decided to take part in as an athlete at the last minute. I am not a runner, cyclist, or great swimmer but have helped support the event as a volunteer in past years because my wife is one of the triathlon coaches. I’ve witnessed her help people who were newbies and they were able to finish the race. I went into the practice swim a little cocky and was humbled very quickly when I immediately froze in the water and had to get pulled out by a volunteer. Then we headed out on the bike course preview, and about a mile or so in, my bike crank and pedal broke, causing me to fall and get some cool roadrash. But while all this was happening, I was surrounded by positive attitudes and the support to continue. The actual triathlon was supposed to be the final day of tri camp, but I didn’t have the confidence to do the swim, and my bike was broken. Fellow Eagle Genia Rosenblum volunteered to do the first two legs of the triathlon for me, so I could run/ruck the final portion of the race. When I crossed the finish line, the support was unreal and I was so excited to finish that I decided right there that I wanted to do another tri, which I actually finished 3 months later.
– The Boston Tough Ruck Marathon (April 2018) is a 26.2-mile ruck and the first time I’ve gone over 10 miles. I had massive blisters on both feet but finished with tears in my eyes. There was a lot of Team RWB support at this event, and the Team RWB Boston chapter was very helpful and hospitable. Special shoutouts go to Samatha McChesney, Dana Braverman, and David Donahue who all took the time to answer a ton of question before the event, gave encouraging words, and even slowed down when they saw me struggling during the Tough Ruck.”
How do you serve your community?
“When we moved back to Delaware in 2015, there weren’t any local Team RWB chapters here yet. We met some random local Eagles at the Caesar Rodney half marathon in Wilmington, and they all said the same thing–there’s no chapter here but maybe we should start one. I wanted to start a local chapter to say thank to those who don the uniform, and because we had such a positive experience and met some of our best friends while being a part of Team RWB in Bethesda. The Dover Chapter was formed soon after that, and we operated as a “shadow chapter” for a couple of years before we became our own entity last August (2017). I now serve as the Co-Chapter Captain of the Northern Delaware chapter with my wife, Jocelyn. Our regular events include a weekly run, biweekly trivia nights, monthly yoga and CrossFit, and veteran outreach such as pre- and post-deployment workshops.”
What Inspires You?
“If I had to choose one thing, it would be reflecting on how far I have come since I was a kid. While I didn’t come from a terrible background, it was less than ideal. What inspires me is knowing that when we have our own kids, I hope to be a better parent and a better provider than what I was given in life. (Whoa, did I just mention having kids??)”
How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?
“When I first joined Team RWB, I was a lazy negative person who was an alcoholic (but in denial about it). The change took a few years to transpire, but I grew tired of being sick and tired. On June 21, 2016, I was caught driving under the influence and instantly knew I needed to change. I had to take part in the First Offenders’ Program in Delaware, which was not easy or cheap. After going through several months of an outpatient rehab program and mandatory AA meetings, I realized it was helping, but when all that was done, I stepped up my Team RWB habit. I guess you could say that Team RWB was a type of rehab for me, and helped me get and stay sober. Whenever I felt the urge, I put on the Eagle and got outside to ruck, bike, or just take a simple walk. I think my two experiences above (triathlon camp in 2017 and Tough Ruck in 2018) have shown how far I’ve come since before Team RWB.”
What Would You Say to Someone Who is Thinking of Joining Team RWB?
“Just do it, because you will get something positive out of the group and you can make it as big (or small) a part of your life as you want. Who knows, you may find a new best friend or someone you can relate to, who can help you with any issue you have. Nothing ventured is nothing gained.”