Eighteen-year old Seamus Donahue ran the Marine Corps Marathon last year, shortly after the one-year anniversary of the death of his father MAJ Michael Donahue. Seamus and his dad had started running together a few years before. I jump in with our Gold Star athletes on the course, whenever I can. Seamus was cruising. Hoping to run a 3:25... but as he ran through the mile, his breath was ragged. "I can't breathe. It's harder than I thought it would be." His pace slowed. And we ran the mile together.
There was never a doubt that Seamus was going to finish that race, but the loss and the power of hundreds of volunteers remembering with him was overwhelming. When Seamus crossed that finish line, he walked immediately over to Arlington National Cemetery and placed his medal on his father's grave. Turning 18, heading to college is a pivotal time for a young man in the best of times. Turning 18, and heading to college after losing your father is a frightening and vulnerable combination. Being a part of wear blue at one of the most malleable times in his life gave Seamus a strong set of male mentors, a healthy coping mechanism, and the outlet for his grief and remembrance that has created a healthy foundation for the dawn of his adulthood.
To read more about our support of wear blue: run to remember read our charity partner blog.
***Learn more about the Amerithon Challenge - a fitness challenge with a medal that stands for more than just a finish line.***