David Swanson is a cadet in his third year at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He has become special to my family in the almost 18 months since Tom was killed. And though they never met, David and Tom are truly brothers and are connected through so many similar experiences and through a shared and absolute love of life.
David is an avid runner and has a passion for the Army and his fellow soldiers, but has truly outdone himself this time. He has created The 24 Hour Brigade as a way to combine his God-given running ability with his heart for helping soldiers. The 24 Hour Brigade is intended to raise funds and awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project – whose mission is to honor and empower injured service men and women.
This coming Saturday in Yukon, Oklahoma (and various other locations around the country – as WP cadets are home for Spring Break) David will be one of several runners attempting to collectively complete 1000 miles in 24 hours – and donors have pledged support via money per mile completed. David is actually committing himself for the entire 24 hours – planning to complete between 120 and 130 miles!
This is a truly noble and selfless thing these cadets are doing – in the name of their fellow soldiers. Please keep David and the other runners in your thoughts this week as they train for a physically and emotionally trying day this Saturday.
You can find David and The 24 Hour Brigade on Facebook – should you want to send him a note of encouragement. He's created a website HERE where you can learn more about both The 24 Hour Brigade and WWP, and read the blog he's kept of his training experiences.
The above photo was taken at West Point last September (2008) when Mom, Dad and Erika were able to visit David while traveling for A Time of Remembrance in D.C.
David: It makes my heart hurt to know he didn't get to see the amazing things you are doing with your life and your talents. You are a special guy and I know he is so proud of you. Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.
If you have a strong enough WHY you can withstand any HOW.