Saturday Spotlight – Matthew Shinners

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Chapter: Mid-Atlantic Region / Raleigh/Durham

Member Since: 2017

Motto: “Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try – Jack Canfield”

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“I joined it after meeting with a friend (Yanni) who I ran with and was part of Team RWB. He started telling me about Team RWB and what it offered to the community. I wondered if it was only military specific He informed it was not and I joined shortly afterwards. It became an opportunity for me to support an organization that has ties to my family and several friends, people who have supported me all my life and had been there for me when I needed them. I may not be able to give back to them specifically, but I can at least give back to people that support others the same way they supported me.”

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

“The Flip Flop 1k in Cary. I went with Team RWB and it was my first experience with the team. It was amazing how welcoming and excited everyone was to be there. There were paper cut outs of active servicemen that were “traveling” around to different events and pictures would be sent to the family showing what they were doing. The connectivity and the community was amazing. The race was just as much fun because of our presence and watching everyone carry their flags. I can even say it was a lot of fun because I got a freedom slap (one of the flags whipped in my face) during the 1k. I had heard all about it prior to the race and wasn’t sure what everyone was talking about. I got a good laugh out of it and the flag holder did as well, it made me feel like part of the Team.”

How do you serve your community?

“I personally work in human resources for a clinical research organization. I try to work with and support as many charitable organizations as I can to bring hope to others. I am very active runner and participate in many run clubs and races around the RDU area. I advertise and discuss Team RWB at many of the different run clubs and races that I run in. Specifically telling people about the organization as a whole, why I find it important, and try to shed some light on why others should join. I find that it is a great way to connect two very active communities.”

What Inspires You?

“Life and the hope that comes with it. Hope gives us the joy and belief that things will improve and it is our duty/responsibility to bring that to each other through anyway possible.”

How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?

“It has given me a different view on veterans and community involvement. I have previously thought of veteran and civilian life being separate from one another. Team RWB brought those lives together for me and made me stop thinking of them as individual areas, but two things that need to work together to help everyone. Me being a civilian in a support organization for veterans would have never occurred to me until I met this group.”

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

“Join. It is an opportunity to join two communities into one. I really want to share one of the big things I feel like I learned in the past year to hopefully help others on their journey as well. The biggest thing I noticed in the last year from observing myself and observing others, we forget that we are human. We are flawed creatures that make mistakes, hurt people, and take wrong turns every so often. Then we tend to hold it against ourselves and never let it go. We forget that we are also capable of such great things and making big differences in everyone’s lives around us, but we have to choose to do it. It is incredibly hard and difficult to do because we sometimes are so blinded by all the wrongs and negatives in life that we forget all the great value we have, will have, and what we are capable of creating. I can attest to not noticing this for such a long time in my life because I had held so much pain in my heart for a very long time. It finally required me take a step back and realize I couldn’t do it all on my own. I had to admit to that weakness to go and I find someone to help me, to help me realize how human I am.

It is my hope, even if it is one person that reads this, that you realize that you are human. This means you can make mistakes, make errors, and take wrong turns because we all do. Then remember how great and awesome you are because you are human! You are capable of such great things!”

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