NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A group of runners is traveling hundreds of miles down the East Coast in support of our troops, and they started right here in Manhattan.
The group called Shepherd’s Men — made up of active duty and military veterans — began the 911-mile journey from the firehouse near the World Trade Center site Sunday morning, CBS2’s Ilana Gold reported.
“We thought this year it would be poignant to start where it started for so many of us, which is Ground Zero,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Greene.
With eight planned stops along the way, it will take them seven days to get to their destination in Atlanta, Georgia.
For more information and to follow along on the Shepherd’s Men’s journey, click here.
The goal is to raise money and awareness for a rehabilitation program at the Shepard Center Hospital in Atlanta. The center gives free treatment for service members with PTSD and brain injuries.
“(How has that program helped you?) It’s a life-saving program, plain and simple,” said former Army Staff Sgt. Jarrad Turner.
Turner, of Huntington, recovered at the center for 6 months after a brain injury during combat overseas.
“Honestly speaking, I never thought I’d be able to do something like this again,” he said. “This is for the brothers and sisters that are suffering.”
The runners also have 20-pound Army vests strapped to their chests.
And as the group embarks on their trek, they know challenges could lie ahead, but they’re on a mission to keep going, Gold reported.
“Every time it gets tough, you get tired, you get worn out, you remember what you’re doing it for. You think about veterans who haven’t made it home,” said Staff Sgt. Greene.
Since January, they’ve raised $150,000 for the rehab program. The group hopes to get to $250,000 by the end of May.