Saturday Spotlight – Ryan McKennedy

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Chapter: Midwest / Springfield, IL

Member Since: April 2013

Motto: “One foot in front of the other.”

Why Did You Join Team RWB?

“I joined Team RWB because I knew something was missing in my life after I returned home from my deployment. I was in the National Guard and within three weeks I went from Afghanistan to college. Talk about a tough transition! I deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and found out about Team RWB through Run As One in 2012. At the time, the Chapter closest to me was Chicago so I didn’t pay much attention to it. Then, the Boston Marathon Bombing happened and I saw the Eagle use their red shirt as a tourniquet and I knew whatever Team RWB was, I had to join. I joined that day and was encouraged by Lou Nemec to start a Chapter where I lived. The Marion IL Chapter is now getting ready to turn 5 in October!”

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

“My favorite experience with Team RWB has been my personal growth. I have become more confident, more self-aware, more empathetic and I have gained so many friends. I have traveled to new places and pushed myself to places I never thought I could.”

How do you serve your community?

“When I was a Chapter Captain I served my community every single day by trying to enrich the lives of America’s Veterans. Our leadership team worked to make our community more veteran friendly and we enjoyed watching other people meet and grow. We workout together, we volunteer together, we do things together. Something every community should strive for.”

What Inspires You?

“What inspires me is the other 2000 Eagle Leaders that fuel Team RWB every single day. Whenever I travel or listen to the Team RWB Podcast of other Eagle Leaders I am continually inspired that people are willing to volunteer so many hours to accomplish our mission. People constantly step up in order to make a difference.”

How Has Team RWB Impacted Your Life?

“Pretty much the same comment from above… I have learned so much about myself over the past 5 years and I credit the things I have learned at Team RWB. I have become more confident, more self-aware, more empathetic and I have gained so many friends. I have traveled to new places and pushed myself to places I never thought I could.”

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

“Do it. It is free and if you are a veteran you get an awesome free shirt! I had no idea what joining this organization was going to do for me and every day, every year, I look back and I am so proud of not only what I have accomplished, but what we accomplish. It is amazing finding new things to do and finding people to complete new challenges with.”

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