So, while this post may seem random (hahahaha, all of my posts are random), this is about some of my dear friends who have become family. Do you ever volunteer with or work with a group that over the years has seen you grow as a person and has become more like family than friends (although you can never really tell when that officially happened, but somewhere along the way, it did). There is a group that I do a lot of volunteer work with, Operation One Voice, that has become like family to me. This is a group that is dedicated to supporting the immediate needs of children and families of wounded and fallen Special Operations Forces. Special Operation Forces consist of US Army Special Operations Command (USASCOC); Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC); Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSCOC); Marine Force Special Operations Command (MARSOC); and Joint Special Operation Command (JSOC).
My association with this group started on a very limited basis… I volunteered at one of their charity golf tournaments in 2006. From there it has grown every year. Since 2006 I have volunteered at their annual golf tournament. Since 2007 I have participated in the OOV SOF Run (more on that later). Last year I helped with their Warrior Weekend (9/11 anniversary remembrance). This year I will be volunteering at their golf tournament (8/17 outside of Atlanta, GA – if you play golf, you should go, it is truly well done!), helping with their Spec Ops Challenge Course (8/18 outside of Atlanta, GA), assisting with their Warrior Weekend, and running alongside them from Atlanta to Tampa on the 8’th Annual Special Operations Forces (SOF) Run. In fact, that run is the reason I started my blog a while back!
Anyway, I just got the official go-ahead for the upcoming events and I could not be more excited. Not only am I able to help an absolutely amazing cause that supports such strong and dedicated men and women, but I am going to get to see so many of my dear friends. I have written many blogs about the OOV SOF runs in the past (2010 run posts, here, here, and here and 2011 run posts, here, here, here, here, here and here) that give a better feel of what we do. We form up as a team (most of the participants are active duty SOF and some first responders – police, fire,etc) and do several team runs (PR runs), and between PR runs we relay to Tampa. During the trip, it is a running joke to kidnap my koozie “Lil T” (Lil T has been kidnapped every year!). Yes, I always carry my University of Tennessee Koozie… and yes, I buy them in multi-packs! But, Lil T has been passed from SOF team member to police back to SOF team member for years. During the course of the year between runs, I will get “ransom” photos of Lil T. I wrote a blog on it here.
Ok… enough of my ramblings which are serving no real purpose other than to attempt to express my excitement over participating in all the upcoming OOV events in the coming months and the thought of getting to see so many of my old and dear friends who routinely are in the line of fire that each opportunity to spend time with them is a blessing and is treasured!
Until we meet again,