Team Red, White & Blue

A little background…

US troop fatalities in combat decreased by more than 15% from 2010 to 2011 (437 to 368).  At first glance this statistic sounds promising, however, if you do a little more research you’ll learn that while the number of US deaths have decreased, the number of amputees have risen by a staggering 22% from 2010 to 2011 (205 vs 240) and is more than 17% higher than the previous all-time high in 2007 (205).

(I won’t go into detail as to why the number of amputees are increasing at an alarming rate, but if you would like to learn more, you should read this article)

Why am I putting up all these statistics?

Do you ever wonder what happens to all of the veterans when they return from Iraq or Afghanistan missing one or two legs and/or one or both of their arms?  Or to those vets who return with “invisible injuries” – post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or mild-traumatic brain injury (TBI)?  Immediately upon their return, they receive amazing around-the-clock medical care from fantastic military hospitals.  But then what happens?  Continuing their career in the military is a longshot (amputees are typically medically discharged).  Some return to their hometown. Others stay close to Army or Navy bases.  But ALL need to start their lives over – trying to live a normal life – while learning how to survive/cope with one or more major limbs missing from their body or with whatever serious injury the war dealt them.

Enter Team Red, White & Blue – a nonprofit organization whose vision is to transform the way wounded veterans are reintegrated into society when they return from combat and exit their position.  Although Team RWB is a fairly new organization, it is growing by leaps and bounds with members all over the U.S. and beyond participating in everything from long-distance running events to triathlons.

Major Mike Erwin, a West Point Grad and three-time veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, founded Team RWB in 2010 as a way to ease the transition by offering wounded vets everything from daily phone calls to baby-sitting help and job-placement assistance.  The organization matches civilians with wounded vets transitioning from military to civilian life.  “We’re connecting people who want to say thank you to a veteran beyond just writing a check,” says Erwin. [source: Runner’s World]

The team relies on runners and triathletes to help spread the word and raise funds. Last year, 3,000 athletes raised more than $400,000 for Team RWB by competing in everything from 5-Ks to ultras. Ultimately, Erwin wants to get more vets running. “It’s the most under-prescribed medication,” he says. For vets with traumatic brain injury and PTSD especially, running can rebuild them psychologically and socially, he says. “It’s that powerful a tool.” [source: Runner’s World]

There are MANY ways to get involved with this amazing organization. You can sign up to be a athlete and fundraise for the program.  You can volunteer to be an advocate to offer your time to enrich the life of a wounded veteran and his/her family. You can donate to the organization (all donations are tax-deductible).  You can wear the eagle and help spread the word about this charity (more clothes and accessories coming soon!)

For more information on Team Red, White & Blue check their:
Website -> 
Twitter -> @TeamRWB
Facebook -> Team Red, White & Blue
Team RWB Triathlon
Team RWB Apparel -> Race Gear, Accessories, Triathlon Gear (currently unavailable)
Upcoming Team RWB Races

Note: There are many charities that provide similar opportunities for wounded vets.  My husband and I support the following in addition to Team RWB:
Wounded Warrior Project
Brendan Marrocco Road To Recovery Trust 

2012 Fitterati Blogger Awards

I am beyond excited and honored to announce that NYCRunningMama was nominated for Best Running Blog as part of Fitness Magazine’s 1st Ever Blogging Awards!

I have NO idea who nominated me – whoever did – thank you, thank you, thank you!

There are some pretty amazing blogs that are nominated (I read many of these blogs on a daily basis!) so if you have a few moments you should stop by to take a look at some of them!  And if you want to vote for NYCRunningMama, click the link below –

Your votes would mean the world to me!!  xoxoxo

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    41 thoughts on “Team Red, White & Blue

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    17. you won’t believe this but I JUST read that article in runner’s world today about them! I am a little behind in my reading haha. I think it’s a great cause! I love the military!
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    18. Oh Michele, how I miss chatting with you. :) Thanks for commenting on my blog this wknd. I totally agree about hate forcing content so haven’t posted as much lately. Hopefully things are going well. Take care mama!
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    19. I love Team Red, White and Blue! Thanks for doing this post, I’ll definitely share it around! Getting involved with the organization is as simple as getting a shirt and wearing it in a local race! is a fantastic resource, as are their twitter and facebook pages!

    20. Congrats on your nomination!

      Team RWB is a great organization that I have not had the privilage of running with but I hope I will in July. They team up with team Wear Blue Run to Remember at the San Fransicso marathon and I’m hoping to run my first ultra with them. They currently only have a chapter in Ft Lewis WA but are hoping to open chapters across the US. I will be running the Seattle Rock n Roll marathon with them in June too. You can find more info on them at
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    21. Thank you for bringing this issue up! Definitely aware of the increase in amputees via my profession as a PT and inspired by the ones who get care and are out there running! Amazed by them. One said at a recent conference that shes doing more bow without legs than she did with them! I think it’s wonderful to run for yourself (as we should) but there are many great causes to run in honor of others.
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    22. There’s a chapter here in LA that I’m looking into. I think it might be a good fit because I’ve been looking into vet groups lately. Congrats on your 1st blog nomination! You got my vote!!!
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    23. Can not wait to be a part of this. Thank you for sharing. As a military spouse I am passionate about helping our Active Duty and Retired Veterans. Thank you so very much Michelle for bring this organization to light.
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