WE RUN FOR THEM
Who are we, why do We Run For Them, and how can you participate?
First off; Clay. Clay Ward, son to Allan & Debbie Ward, was born and raised in the Heart of Dixie. Clay served his country with his fellow USMC brothers in Iraq, Japan & Thailand before coming home at Christmas 2007. Apt at keeping his demons of PTSD silenced, Clay had a hard time adjusting to civilian life. However, there was less awareness of PTSD then and his condition went undiagnosed and untreated.
On June 13, 2009, Clay died by suicide. A victim of PTSD.
After his death, his mother (known as Momma Ward) decided she was not going to lose another one of Clay's USMC brothers to PTSD, and she FOUGHT for her boys. She became instrumental in walking them through that adjustment to civilian life, recognizing PTSD in their own lives & trudging through challenges with them. I can say from personal, first-hand account, she has SAVED lives.
For the last 6 years, Clay's USMC brothers have traveled from all over the United States to Birmingham, AL to run. They run in Clay's memory. They run to raise awareness of PTSD. Last year, due to all of life's uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, we decided to take a stand and not only made the run virtual, but month-long as well. And so, “We Run For Them” was born.
June is PTSD awareness month. We will be logging miles together through the ENTIRE MONTH in different states, and in different countries, all to raise awareness of PTSD, in Clay's memory. EVERYONE is welcome to join us! It does not matter your age, your location, your tech knowledge, your fitness level, or even if you knew Clay! Anytime you walk, run, hike, bike or stroll, log your miles right alongside us!
His brothers span from across the United States to Japan (and all in between) and they stand ready for June 1st as we start running, walking, hiking and biking for PTSD awareness. It fills me with awe and respect to witness firsthand their unbreakable and unspoken bond and strength as they fight not only for themselves, but for their fellow brothers and sisters bearing invisible scars of PTSD.
We will run for them. Will you?
How can you participate? Join us in June as we log miles virtually! Buy a t-shirt, where the proceeds go to PTSD awareness. Donate food to help us feed the 30+ USMC/family members that will be in town to run in Clay’s memory. Join us Thursday night, June 3rd at Rails & Ales for a fundraiser for the Cpl. Anthony Clay Ward Veterans Program. Join us Saturday, June 5th at the Hoover Veterans Park. Check out the website for all information; and reach out with any questions you may have!
THE RED BARN
The Cpl. Anthony Clay Ward Program for Veterans
The Red Barn is a special equestrian barn nestled back in the countryside in Leeds, AL. The Red Barn offers a wide variety of programs: adapted riding and therapy, camps, classes/training and The Cpl. Anthony Clay Ward Program for Veterans. When Clay’s USMC brothers and family come to AL each year, after paying our respects at his graveside, we all go to The Red Barn. The men and their families get to groom & paint the horses, play with the goats and barn cats, sit by the river, and get a chance to breathe in the quiet beauty of it all. The smiles emerging and visible weight being lifted from these men and their families, is a beauty in and of itself.
All throughout the month of June, as we raise awareness for PTSD in Clay’s memory, we have chosen to also make it a fundraiser for The Red Barn and their veterans program. Those donations help TRB stay open so they in turn can help our veterans and their families. Below is a secure link to donate should you feel lead. Thank you for the support!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE?
There are 2 main ways you can participate!
1. Join us virtually throughout the month of June as we run, ruck, walk, bike, hike for PTSD Awareness.
2. Donate. Donate to the Cpl. Anthony Clay Ward Veterans Program.
HOW DO I LOG MY MILES?
It is easy! Walk, run, hike or bike and track your miles on your favorite fitness tracker. Then, log your miles either on our daily FB post on We Run For Them, where we introduce a new teammate every day, or email your miles to 10kforClay@gmail.com for us to log them. Feel free to share a sweaty selfie using the hashtag #werunforthem
HOW CAN I DONATE TO THE CPL CLAY WARD VETERANS PROGRAM?
Use this secure link to donate to The CPL Anthony Clay Ward Memorial Run.
HOW CAN I DONATE TO THE MEMORIAL RUN?
We have 30+ USMC/family members coming to Bham this year from all over the US, and Momma Ward will be feeding them while they are in town, as usual. Below are a list of items that we need, should you feel lead to donate.
-individually packaged crackers, cookies and chips
-Wal-Mart and/or Publix gift cards
*Send us an email at 10kforClay@gmail.com if you would like to donate.