‘Shepherd’s Men’ to Honor Post-9/11 Veterans

The Shepherd’s Men, a 10-member team of active duty, medically retired and honorably discharged servicemen and civilian patriots dedicated to raising funds and awareness for the Atlanta-based Shepherd Center’s SHARE Military Initiative, will kick off their seventh annual Shepherd’s Men Run in Arlington, Va. at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) on May 24. The seven days, May 24-31—will be filled with running, rucking and swimming in Baltimore, Maryland; Arlington and Lynchburg, Virginia; Mt. Juliet and Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Athens and Atlanta, Georgia.

The Shepherd’s Men Run is a seven-day, seven-city physical challenge during which each member of the Shepherd’s Men team will run, ruck and swim every day, totaling over 1,000 miles collectively, while wearing 22-pound flak vests with armor plates to honor the lives of the 22 veterans who commit suicide in the United States each day. The gear simulates what U.S. military troops wear during battle and represents the physical, mental and emotional burden veterans cope with while readjusting to civilian life. During the Mt. Juliet, TN movement, the team will carry 83 pounds in a rucksack, and march 15.3 miles, to honor the life of Country Music Icon and longtime Shepherd’s Men supporter, Charlie Daniels.

“We run for our brothers and sisters who lost their lives, for our brothers and sisters who are still fighting long after leaving the battlefield and for our brothers and sisters who have not yet returned home,” says Travis Ellis, Shepherd’s Men co-founder. “We will not rest until the number of lives lost every day to suicide goes from 22 to 0. Our veterans deserve to live meaningful, gratifying lives with their families after their courageous service to our country.”

The 2021 Shepherd’s Men Run route is as follows:
• May 23 – Baltimore, Md. (5k only)
• May 24 – Arlington, Va.
• May 25, 26 – Lynchburg, Va.
• May 27 – Mt. Juliet, Tenn.
• May 28, 29 – Chattanooga, Tenn.
• May 30, 31 – Athens, Ga.
• May 31 – Atlanta, Ga.

The annual run is the Shepherd’s Men’s primary fundraising effort for the SHARE Military Initiative at The Shepherd Center in Atlanta. SHARE is a comprehensive rehabilitation program that focuses on assessment and treatment for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The team’s 2021 goal is to raise $1.2 million by hosting fundraisers during their journey and, in turn, fully fund one year’s operating budget for SHARE.

“It is our desire to shine light on the condition of those struggling in our veteran community—many of whom suffer in silence, isolating themselves from family, friends and the community,” said Ellis. “For many of our veterans, their struggles, without proper care, often lead to broken families, addiction and unfortunately loss of life. That’s why we are committed to raising awareness and funds to provide life-saving resources to sustain the SHARE Military Initiative at Shepherd Center.”

About Shepherd’s Men
Shepherd’s Men is an organization comprised of dedicated patriots committed to creating advocacy and opportunity for our nation’s heroes who have been affected by the hidden injuries of war.

About the Shepherd Center
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions.. For more information, visit Shepherd Center online at www.shepherdcenter.org.

(SOURCE: Shepherd’s Men)

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