As the commander of Company C, Fort Knox Warrior Transition Battalion, Capt. Patrick Kelley is used to dedicating his time to the care of wounded Soldiers.
Next month, his wife and Family members will join him for 565 miles worth of support, with the end goal of raising awareness to assist transitioning veteran service members.
“We have been able to witness the challenges and anxiety that each Soldier goes through as they are transitioning from military to civilian life,” Kelley said. “We want to help make everyone aware that the challenges and anxiety do not go away easily or quickly upon leaving the Army, but there are organizations and people willing to help.”
Kelley and his wife Andrea, who serves as Co. C’s Family readiness group leader, along with members of their family, are taking on the “Run Ranger Run” team challenge of running, biking or walking 565 miles in the month of February. The run is modeled after Cpl. Cory Smith, who last year ran 565 miles from Columbus, Ga., to Indianapolis, in 28 days.
During his run, Smith came through the Fort Knox Warrior Transition Battalion and spoke to Soldiers currently in the unit. He told his story and answered questions about the transition he was making to being a civilian.
“We wanted to do this run to honor Cpl. Smith’s incredible effort and to continue the momentum to raise awareness for veteran issues, particularly around divorce, unemployment, homelessness and suicide,” Kelley said. “Andrea and I pledge to walk or run a combined total of 565 miles during the month of February. We will raise funds for the organization GallantFew, and increase awareness for these veteran issues.”
“Veterans continue to battle record high levels of unemployment, under employment, homelessness and suicide,” Kelley said.
The most recent Department of Labor Statistics from May 2012 show Global War on Terror veterans are 40 percent more likely to be unemployed than a person who never served. The VA reports 18 veterans take their own lives daily, and active duty suicides have averaged one per day this year – a rate unheard of before now.
For more information on the Kelley’s run, visit http://tiny.cc/zaxnqw.