The Rossford Community Recreation Center, 400 Dixie Highway in Rossford, Ohio is proud to be co-hosting The Warrior Run 5K Run and Walk with Rossford Bass Pro Shops, 10000 Bass Pro Boulevard in Rossford. All proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The race will begin at 9:00 a.m. on August 23 and will start and finish at Bass Pro Shops while running throughout the Crossroads Area. "This event gives us an opportunity to help a great cause while partnering with a business that has been great for the Rossford Community, and drawing people from all over the region together for something that should be a very fun event for all in attendance," said Rossford Parks & Recreation Director, Ivan Kovacevic. “Once Ivan was approached by Leon (Wounded Warrior), we were inspired to get involved” said Bass Pro Shops Special Events Coordinator Samantha Durivage. “There are ways for all to get involved and help support the cause. We know that not everyone is a runner so volunteers, supporters, and sponsors are encouraged to get involved.”
Leon Forystek, Ohio Army National Guard Captain tells his story, “When I returned home from Afghanistan back in 2013, I was nervous to return back to civilian life. I didn't know what to do, how to function, or what the first step was to actually being normal. If you had seen me walking down the street, you may never have guessed that I suffer the silent wound. The wound that still haunts our veterans today; a wound that has led hundreds of veterans to commit suicide. I suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), and I am a Wounded Warrior. Thousands of veterans return home and somewhat feel the same way I do. When people hear of wounded warriors, they think that it's the veteran in the wheel chair or the old man with the cane coming out of the VA center. So I came up with an idea about spreading the word to others and educating them in what a wounded warrior is all about. So I expressed my ideas to both The Bass Pro Shop and Rossford Rec Center and we came up with the up and coming Warrior Run (and walk) 5K”, said Captain Forystek.
Captain Forystek continued, “I want people to know that it goes beyond a veteran in a wheel chair or the old man with a cane”, Leon continues with his story. “Our Wounded Warriors come from all over the world; they can be male or female; young or old; short or tall; vegetarian or meat eater. The injuries are one or a combination of many types of wounds, some invisible or others that stand out. Wounded veterans can range from being burn victims, single/double/triple/quadruple amputee, suffer from PTSD, anxiety, depression, gun/knife wounds, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and so on. Every injury is different and not one is the same, which is why I want to share my story and get the word out to educate others. In the long run, that word could potentially help a veteran in need of a friend, a hug, trip to the VA, someone to just listen to, or provide a place to stay. Every injury is different, but the Wounded Warrior Project sees every veteran as one, Warriors!”
"Hopefully it is something we can build on year after year well into the future." Kovacevic also mentioned that this event is the culmination of an exciting week in the City of Rossford that also includes the Annual Rossford Riverfest on Saturday August 22 at Veteran's Memorial Park in Rossford. The Rossford Parks & Recreation Department will again be using the help of the Toledo Roadrunners organization in promoting the race to its members. The Rossford Recreation Rudolph Run held each December in the downtown streets of Rossford draws about 200 participants to their event. "We are hoping that this event can grow beyond the success our other races have had as this is a very important cause that benefits an organization that gives so much to the individuals who have sacrificed so much as they fought to protect our nation's freedoms," said Kovacevic.
The Warrior Run 5K Run and Walk is open to all ages. Anyone who preregisters for $20 are guaranteed a T-Shirt if their registration is post-marked by August 15. Members of the military, active, retired, or veterans will receive a $3.00 discount. Purple Heart recipients will run free. If you miss the preregister date, forms can still be turned in or filled out on race day for $25. A limited number of T-Shirts will be available on race day. For registration forms, please visit http://rossfordrecreation.com/rcrc/warrior-run or sign up online at imathlete.com. Registration forms should be mailed to Rossford Recreation, 400 Dixie Highway, Rossford, Ohio 43460. For volunteer sign ups, please contact Special Events Coordinator Samantha Durivage (419)-891-3900. For any other information, please call the Rossford Recreation Center at (419)-666-2905.