Society often discusses the wealthy 1%; however, there is another 1% of our society who often goes unmentioned: those who serve in the United States Armed Forces. Over the past 3 years, several Army ROTC cadets have dedicated countless hours to help change the way civilians think about and engage with veterans.
On June 3rd, cadets from the University of Delaware began running 1,400 miles in 22 days from Ground Zero, NYC to Miami Beach, FL. This is the third annual Reviresco Run, the organization’s largest fundraising campaign, meant to bridge the civilian-military divide. Reviresco, Latin for “renewal,” exists to renew the relationship between civilians and veterans.
What started as just a run to help veterans is now a non-profit organization that focuses on engaging, educating and empowering civilians to go beyond saying “thank you for your service.”
Reviresco has adopted a two-pronged approach to achieve their goals. First, they run from city to city to personally bring their message to communities in order to raise awareness about veteran lives in America today. Second, they host educational events in high schools and university classrooms to teach students how to make veterans feel appreciated by allowing them to tell their story of service and sacrifice.
Each cadet runs between 15 and 20 miles every day. The group believes that the difficulties they face while on the run truly helps society better understand the hardships faced by veterans. “Running is something tangible that the average person can relate to”, says Vice President of Reviresco Alex Chiodo, “by running the long, monotonous miles in the summer heat and sleeping outside, we hope people understand the loneliness many veterans feel upon returning home and attempting to reintegrate as a civilian.” After completing an average of 80 miles as a team, the Reviresco Runners (Todd’s first video linked here) spend most nights on the school bus the company converted into an RV.
This year’s run is 22 days long representing the 22 veterans that commit suicide every day. Having just finished their 11th day, the team has already held running events in seven major US cities along the east coast, presented in high schools from New Jersey to Virginia, and spent time running with soldiers on Fort Bragg, NC. After conversing with hundreds of veterans, the group of future officers understands that just one caring conversation can significantly impact a veteran’s life.