NATCA Joins Pyle in Texas for Patriot Run Across America
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Pictured left to right: Thomas Reynolds, Andrew J. Stachowiak, John Pyle, Lindsey Molinar, Trish Gilbert and Jennifer Molinar.
This past weekend, NATCA EVP Trish Gilbert and Houston area members joined John Pyle in the Patriot Run Across America, NATCA’s first run in effort to support Pyle and his cause to gain awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project.
“It was great meeting John and his crew,” said Gilbert. “We hope they get the support, donations and awareness they are working so hard to get for the Wounded Warrior Project.”
Last Saturday, Gilbert kicked off the run by joining Pyle for two miles of his day as he ran along US 290 just outside of Houston. Gilbert said the weather had a nice back wind with temperatures reaching a perfect 70 degrees.
On Sunday Gilbert, Tomball D.W. Hooks ATCT (DWH) Facility Representative Thomas Reynolds, Houston TRACON (I90) NATCActivist Andrew Stachowiak, and Gilbert's sister-in-law Jennifer Molinar and niece Lindsey Jordan Molinar ran five kilometers (3.1 miles) with Pyle.
Reynolds, who is an Operation Enduring Freedom & Global War on Terrorism vet, ran in the Patriot Run Across America for his father, Tommy "Tomcat" Reynolds, a Vietnam War Veteran, who passed away in February 2012. He said his father started a bi-annual reunion for Vietnam veterans to talk about the war. The group did not receive much support in the beginning, but thanks to Reynold's dad, many now have taken their lives back after being able to talk about their issues with those who can relate.
Reynolds said it took his dad 25-30 years to receive all of his compensation from the government, and that's why he is in full support of the Wounded Warriors Project.
"The more we can help our vets now, the better the veteran and their families will be," said Reynolds. "I wanted to do it for myself as a veteran, but I mainly wanted to do it for him."
Stachowiak, a two-time marathon runner himself, wanted to meet with Pyle to discover why he was so determined to run solo across the United States. Speaking from experience, Stachowiak said that after running a certain distance every stride is physically painful; your mind is telling you to stop and to continue on is incredibly challenging.
"He (Pyle) has no military background besides the strong brotherhood he has with his veteran friends who have served or are currently serving," said Stachowiak. "He's a very unique civilian who has an infinite supply of patriotism. There's only the thought of the wounded warriors motivating Pyle to grind through this daunting task, which is undoubtedly a huge gut check. You just don't see that kind of personal sacrifice often, it's extremely rare."
Stachowiak said one thing people don't realize is how not only is he running an incredible 40 miles a day, he's also doing so while carrying an extremely heavy American flag.
"John Pyle holds that flag high and proud," he said. "Not only does it never drop he never let’s it even remotely go below his shoulder level. Some days when the wind is at his back, John told me he has to hold his left hand up to keep the flag from blowing in his face and blocking his vision. Amazing stamina for sure."
Stachowiak really encourages members to run with Pyle, even if it's only for a mile or two.
"There's no reason why NATCA members can't join Pyle on his journey and line either side of the road to help him through the home stretch of this awe inspiring just cause,” said Stachowiak.
NATCA has set a goal of raising $25,000 for Wounded Warriors. To meet this goal, NATCA only needs 1000 members to donate $25 for the cause. The Wounded Warrior Project has recognized NATCA Running as an official supporter so NATCA members can make tax-deductible donations online directly to the charity and NATCA will be credited. NATCA has officially raised $5,250, and the donations are continuing to flow in fast. To contribute to this great cause, click HERE. NATCA Charitable Foundation (NCF) has already donated $1000 to the cause.
In addition to donations, if you are interested in joining the NATCA members by running or walking for this cause, please send your name, email, phone and facility to firstname.lastname@example.org. A Facebook page has been launched for the cause N A T C A running where you can find more information.
The Patriot Run Across America is organized by the Patriot Trust, Inc., a non-profit organization formed in 2011 to aid American servicemen and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is a nonprofit whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Every year, wounded warriors and caregivers receive support each year through WWP programs and services. Find out more about the Patriot Run Across American at http://www.patriotrunacrossamerica.com/ or the Wounded Warrior Project at http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/.
John Pyle holding the American flag that flew over Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Tribute to Navy Seals from Afghan school children after Bin Laden assassination.