This Sweat4Vets Virtual 5K Walk/Run LINK was inspired by Charlie Bewley and its purpose is 1) to help raise money and awareness for the THUNDER ROAD Kickstarter campaign and 2) to come together (no matter how far apart we actually live!) to show our support of our veterans, both young and old, who have sacrificed more than can ever be comprehended by anyone who hasn’t been in their boots.
What is a “Virtual” 5K? It simply means you commit to walk/run 3.1 miles anywhere, anytime: by yourself on a treadmill, with a group of friends casually walking around your neighborhood, or as part of another race. The point is to build solidarity – we are all “sweating4vets” together – in our own ways and cities. In return, you’ll become an official backer of the “THUNDER ROAD” Kickstarter campaign, get an awesome Sweat4Vets 5K T-shirt, AND have your full name listed in the End Credits of the “Thunder Road” feature film!!
On August 3, Charlie Bewley, of both Twilight and The Vampire Diaries fame, set out on a mission to shed light on a long-shadowed issue currently facing over 100,000* of our bravest citizens: PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Dressed in full US Army combat gear, he has been jump roping and doing push ups, often in dangerous temperatures and humidity, in front of major landmarks across the nation. His aim is to draw attention to a Kickstarter.com campaign raising awareness and funds.
Bewley and his production partners and fellow actors, Matt Dallas (Kyle XY) and Steven Grayhm (White Chicks), have developed THUNDER ROAD, a feature film which follows the lives of three soldiers returning home from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The heart of the film lies in the true-to-life repercussions of war zone combat and how these young veterans coming home today cope with their new environment: “We should be educated to the changes that soldiers go through during combat, so we as a society can help them better assimilate back into life upon returning from war. Right now, many are isolated, living in the shadows.”
Bewley, a British national who has been living in America for 4 years, has previously raised $20,000 for BC Cancer Foundation in memory of Jocelyn Clarke, a friend and victim of a rare form of lung cancer. He ran 65kms (42 miles) having never even passed the half marathon distance beforehand.
“Compared to what Jocelyn went thru in battling cancer, running this distance is nothing. We live in such comfort, all of us. It’s good to put ourselves in a place of suffering and pain now and again, to make us realize what others less fortunate are going through.”
He has a similar philosophy towards his current challenge. Asked about what he hopes to learn from such a ridiculous endeavor: “How am I supposed to play a soldier if I haven’t experienced at least the physical rigors of the desert? Soldiers’ bodies are subjected to intense conditioning in preparation for the climatic and physical hardships of war zone environments. Plus, it’s far more entertaining than watching cats on YouTube.”
Visit www.ThunderRoadKickstarter.com for more information about their cause and/or to pledge your support!
Their Kickstarter campaign runs until September 12 and the target is $750,000.
*As of Dec. 7, 2012, 103,792 soldiers deployed since 2000 have reported cases of PTSD, according to the Congressional Research Service.
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