Hollis man to run for Homes for Our Troops
Friday, October 4, 2013
HOLLIS – Although he never got the chance to serve in the military when he was younger, David Sullivan, of Hollis, now helps serve military veterans.
He has run in the Marine Corps Marathon several times and his team has raised more than $100,000 during the past two years for Homes for Our Troops.
Founded in 2004, Homes for Our Troops is a national organization with the mission to build specially adapted homes for service members who have been severely injured in combat operations since 9/11. All homes are built at no cost to the veteran through the generous support of individuals, foundations and corporate contributors. The nonprofit organization – which receives no government subsidies – has built 136 homes for veterans since 2004. The current goal is to build 100 more homes.
“Homes for Our Troops has lots of members,” Sullivan said. “I got involved in 2010 as something I could do to support our military, particularly these soldiers who come back so changed, physically and mentally.”
Sullivan ran his first marathon a few years ago as a tribute to his brother, who died of cancer.
“It was physically and mentally challenging, but I got hooked,” he said. “I’ve been running one or two every year since.”
Sullivan has run nine marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2012. This fall, he will run in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, Oct. 27. The course begins at the Pentagon in Reston, Va., goes past the Mall and the Capitol Building and ends at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington. Sullivan said it is one of the best courses he’s run.
“Running through the city of Washington, D.C., and passing the monuments and Capitol Building was awesome,” he said, “but the feeling of knowing that this run was to help someone else made the event even more meaningful.”
Some participants run the marathon in full gear, others on prosthetic legs. There is also a wheelchair division.
“I have met some of the soldiers and seen their incredible spirit and drive,” he said. “It is an honor to sit with them and hear their stories. These men and women have selflessly given so much to our country, and your donation lets them know their service and sacrifices are remembered.”
Sullivan and his family staffed a booth at Hollis Old Home Days to raise pledges toward his personal goal of $3,000 for the marathon.
Potential supporters are invited to visit his page online at www. hfotmcm13.kintera.org/sullivan for additional information or to donate.
The local beneficiary of this year’s adapted house is a soldier in Rhode Island, who lost both his legs at the hip from an improvised explosive device in Iraq.
“For some reason, I have the ability to run 26 miles,” Sullivan said. “If I can do that, I might as well put it to good use.”