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Old Glory Relay Returns

62 teams.
Over 4,000 miles ran.
One flag.

This is not your normal relay. The is the Old Glory relay.

From the Team RWB Media Kit:
Old Glory stands for much, in a world with much need: freedom, opportunity, safety, expression, pride, belonging and diversity. The last two, never mutually exclusive, always mutually supportive. This year, as we fly Old Glory across 4600 miles of America the beautiful, we not only look at our colors above, but celebrate our colors within. The colors of Old Glory knit together a fabric of America that is unlike any other, a fabric of diversity and difference bound in strength and unity.

The Old Glory Relay course starts in the beautiful Pacific Northwest in iconic Seattle and will pass through the shadows of majestic Mount Rainier and Mount Hood as it traverses the forests and then the high deserts of Oregon. Old Glory will then cross through the big tree forests of Northern California before heading into the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. Next, we cross through the second largest city in the United States. . . Los Angeles. Team RWB Eagles will connect our two largest West Coast chapters as they run along the Pacific Ocean passing through Camp Pendleton and into San Diego. With one last glimpse of the Pacific Ocean, Old Glory will head east into Arizona, through areas around Yuma, Phoenix, and Tucson; rich with wild west and southwestern history. Next up Old Glory will pass into Texas at El Paso and make the long journey across the full width of the Lone Star State with stops at the Alamo in San Antonio, and Houston, among others. With the Gulf of Mexico to the south, the course will cross the “Mighty Mississippi” River at Baton Rouge and then drop into the Crescent City before mirroring the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast, notably passing by the famed World War II battleship, the USS Alabama. Crossing into Florida, Old Glory will follow the Emerald Coast and the “prettiest beaches in the world,” before passing through the Big Bend region and turning south for the last time. Finally, Old Glory will make her way into the hometown of the Team RWB National Firebase, Tampa.

This will be the second year that I will have the honor of being part of the Old Glory Relay. I will help escort the flag through No-Po (my neighborhood of all things) on September 13th in honor of the people in my life who have served.

I stated in some of my previous blogs how much of an honor it is to run with the flag. Your a small part of something bigger then you can imagine. But a snip-it from my blog from last year.

Me taking the handoff.

The two miles are insignificant at this point. So many cars honked, applauded, yelled their support. I was on one of the less crowded roads in terms of traffic but I think it gave me a chance to take in the entire experience more. The flag that I was holding is on a journey of 4,200 plus miles and will be in the hands of 62 teams that have come together for the same common cause.

This also serves as a fundraiser for Team RWB’s mission.
“Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.”

One of the neatest things is you do not have to be near the route to get involved with this amazing event.

You can sign up as a virtual runner: Old Glory Relay and for 35.00 you will get the event shirt.

You can donate to the Team at Team RWB Portland’s effort to fundraise: Day 3

#OldGlory Relay: A Once in A Lifetime Experience to Support @TeamRWB

I think the best way to describe this experience is once in a life time.

Yesterday I had the honor of running 2 miles with the American Flag as part of the Old Glory Relay. Team RWB explains this best in their media kit.

From inspiration, strength, or freedom, each person who touches
this year’s Old Glory has their own story of CONNECTION to the symbol
of our great nation.
Throughout the 4,216-mile journey across the United States, the participants
and supporters of “America’s Relay” will come together to honor the sacrifice
of thousands of Americans who have fought for America’s freedom, and make
a public display of support for veterans as they return to their respective
communities. This amazing experience allows Team RWB to spread our mission
of enriching veterans’ lives, recruit new members into the organization,
and generate donations for our core programs focused on leadership
development and engaging veterans and civilians within their communities.

This is the first year the flag made an appearance in Oregon. The flag actually started on Sunday, September 11 at Microsoft headquarters in Seattle before making it to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and then Woodland Washington where my local Team RWB crew took charge.

Our smaller group of three runners picked up the responsibility at Ridgefield. Our group of three runners had decided to do the 6 miles in 2 mile solo increments with me taking the last handoff.

My handoff was at the top of a hill in the middle of farm land. I was really worried because I am on the slower side of running, and I am still getting my legs back under me a bit.

I took my handoff and I think it hit me at that point that this was not any ordinary running experience. I had said

Me taking the handoff, thanks to Team RWB for this amazing photo.
Me taking the handoff, thanks to Team RWB for this amazing photo.
before I was running for the people in my life who are veterans who especially in the last few years have been such a support system and helped me keep my head together when things did not seem possible. These people have done so much to support their country.

The two miles are insignificant at this point. So many cars honked, applauded, yelled their support. I was on one of the less crowded roads in terms of traffic but I think it gave me a chance to take in the entire experience more. The flag that I was holding is on a journey of 4,200 plus miles and will be in the hands of 62 teams that have come together for the same common cause.

Because I was dropping some of the social media coverage, I was able to get over to the Interstate Bridge and cover the runners crossing into their first state. Watching the flag come across the bridge up the hill on the interstate bridge was just truly an experience that I will not forget.

I have been trying to put into words what this whole thing means to me, but I don’t think words do it. I think the best way to talk about it is show the pictures. Thank you to my dad for getting some of these amazing moments.