NEW YORK, Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Tuesday, January 24th marks the end of a four-month journey for a team of patriots whose hearts are aimed at making a difference in the lives of veterans. George Chmiel and his team set out from San Diego on September 11th, 2016 on what was planned to be a two-month run to Ground Zero in Manhattan. The goal was to drive awareness around the veteran suicide epidemic and raise funds in support of the Guardian For Heroes Foundation (a veteran's non-profit started by American Sniper Chris Kyle) and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. The road was tough but these determined men endured with persistence. Harsh weather would not deter them, injury would not stop them, logistical complications would only sharpen their resolve. Every day they persisted with a whatever it takes mentality driving the mission forward. Only one factor would slow their progress: a story of honor and a deeper understanding that evolved with each mile.
In a time of political chaos, division within the population, and uncertainty of what the impending election would hold, there was one constant that served as a guiding light for the team - American pride. From small town to small town, George was received by streets dotted with groups of veterans, fans, Boy Scout troops, and curious onlookers. American flags flew high held by children and adults alike. Sounds of cheers and the encouraging honks of passing traffic would fuel the team along the way. Meet and greets, fundraising concerts, and friends, family, and strangers alike would further fuel the run's spirit.
The run's story took the team to VA hospitals, military bases, and the personal homes of veterans. The heroic effort and extraordinary commitment of our service men and women filled George Chmiel with the raw emotion and drive it took him to take over 5 million steps and run over 3,000 miles across the country. With each veteran George met on the road, he learned of another individual who served him that he never knew before. He learned of their story, about their journey, and the struggles they were experiencing. These heroes caused George to keep a very flexible schedule and place the mission way before the miles. And in return, the tears, hugs, and smiles warmed the hearts of veterans and made every ache, every added mile, and every day sacrificed so worth it.
George's mission to raise awareness and funds would evolve through this process and it became his mission to unify the country around these heroes. In George's words "if we are to heal as a nation and truly find common ground, civilians need to engage with our veterans, ask about their service, learn from their experiences, and to bring this country together we need our vets and their shining example every bit as much as they need us."
On January 24th, 2017, the man who started out to honor our heroes becomes a hero himself to many. George will have completed his run on behalf of our veterans and on behalf of this great nation – a feat he never once considered for himself. He will be joined by hundreds to walk the final miles to Ground zero, not only to show unity around our veterans but also to honor a man who decided to show love and appreciation, simply for being an American, that so many in this country have seemed to have forgotten.
George Chmiel and his team would personally like to invite all those who would like to put political differences aside and walk in unity to join their 2-mile Unity Walk to Ground Zero, starting at 3pm from the Hudson River Greenway at Morton Street.
Full details of the Unity Walk here: beastmodeforthebrave.org/concerts-and-events/
About Guardian for Heroes: Guardian for Heroes Foundation humbly and proudly carries the torch CPO Chris Kyle left us and champion the cause to restore hope, renew spirits, and replenish energy for combat veterans transitioning to post military life.
Guardian for Heroes Foundation provides free, in-home fitness equipment, facilitation of donated health club memberships, individualized programs, personal training and life coaching to in-need veterans with disabilities, Gold Star families and those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) from combat deployment. We use physical and mental fitness to spark conversation and create a source of support for combat veterans.
Guardian For Heroes Foundation proudly continues this mission in the honor and memory of Chris Kyle, our founder, in order to carry on his passion and to continue serving our service men and women.
About Paralyzed Veterans of America: Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease.
As a partner for life, Paralyzed Veterans also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation and advocates for veterans and all people with disabilities.
For 70 years, it has ensured that veterans have received the benefits earned through their service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis. With more than 70 offices and 34 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico (pva.org).
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/san-diego-man-completes-3000-mile-run-across-america-for-veterans-300394739.html
SOURCE Guardian for Heroes Foundation