Why I Support Operation Valor

Ladies and gentleman, 

I’d like to give you a little background as to why supporting Operation Valor means so much to me. 
When I was in high school, I wanted very much to join the Air Force like my father. I always thought he looked like a young Elvis in the one picture I remember of him in uniform. Oh so very handsome and debonair. My older brothers all joined the military. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, just about every male in my family has served. I was hesitant and ended up not enlisting (read I was too scared of the unknown. Too scared to take a risk). 
And after some years and family drama I’d learned that my little brother had not only joined the Army, but that he’d nearly been killed in Iraq.

Without making a long story too much longer, I happened to meet an incredible man a few years back. A man that felt such an unquenchable desire to give back to the military community that he created a foundation to do just that.

After nearly losing my little brother coupled with my own guilt and regret for not enlisting myself, Operation Valor has allowed me a unique opportunity to serve our men and women in uniform and transform my guilt/regret into positive change. It has given me the chance to show our heroes that while I may not have had the guts to put my life on the line, I will now do everything in my power to ensure that their sacrifice will never be forgotten. 
So when you see these posts, urging you to participate in Operation Valor events, please consider them my personal invitation to do something to show that you appreciate and love our veterans.

“On August 6, 2011, a U.S. Army CH-47D Chinook helicopter approached a landing zone in Afghanistan 40 miles southwest of Kabul. The helicopter, call sign Extortion 17, was on a mission to reinforce American and coalition special operations troops. It would never return. Insurgents fired at the Chinook, severed one of its rear rotor blades, and brought it crashing to the ground. All 31 onboard perished instantly in the single greatest moment of sacrifice for Americans in the war in Afghanistan. Those killed were some of the U.S.’s most highly trained and battle-honed commandos, including 15 men from the Gold Squadron of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, known popularly as SEAL Team 6, which had raided a Pakistan compound and killed Osama bin Laden just three months earlier.” — Ed Darack The Final Mission of Extortion 17

We want to raise awareness for this tragedy and the ultimate sacrifice made by all these men. To that effect we’re putting on a nation-wide fitness competition AND hosting a series of Virtual Runs (5K/10K/13.1m)! 100% of the net proceeds raised by these event will be split evenly among the follow veteran-oriented 501(c)3 organizations:

The 31Heroes Project
Navy SEAL Foundation
Operation Enduring Warrior
Combat Wounded Coalition Home of Wounded Wear
The Raider Project






  1. Kristen says:

    Wow Amanda- thanks for sharing about this organization!
    I’m not a runner but I love when boxes and gyms open up for events like these or do virtual workouts for organizations like Operation Valor.

  2. Don Dowden says:

    Awesome Amanda! I didn’t know all those details. Thanks for being involved & supporting our military! You’re amazing 🙂

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