Never Quit: Experience The Rut
Last year CW3 (Ret) Ronel Leffew bicycled 1,000 miles from D.C. to his hometown of Sanford, FL in 9 days. He lived the motto, “Never Quit”. This year brings on new challenges with his decision to tackle Experience The Rut.
Leffew has been retired for over a year but is still deeply committed to help Veterans with transition from the military. Many young Veterans have a difficult time leaving what they have known for the previous four years. The transition process even more difficult for those retiring with decades of service.
When Veterans leave their military family they leave the bonds forged through sweat, blood and tears. The anxiety, pressure and stress grow as time passes. Leffew insists on raising awareness of transition struggles Veterans face in an effort to prevent Veteran suicide and to help those who think there is not a way forward. Twenty Veterans a day committing suicide is not acceptable. Through teaming up with GallantFew, Leffew hopes that others will follow and give what they can to help Veterans.
Karl Monger, Executive Director of GallantFew says, “For real, lasting change in the challenges facing veterans, local communities have to take responsibility for reintegrating veterans to the community. The more our communities understand about the five points of Veteran fitness the better they will be able to assist along the Veteran’s transition home. Volunteers like Ronel are critical to educating and motivating people in their communities.”
It is 37 percent more likely for Global War on Terror Veterans to be unemployed than a person who never served and 22 Veterans take their lives every day. By providing peer support and access to health services GallantFew is doing its part to assist our veterans/address the unmet needs and lower these statistics facing our Veterans.
On September 2, 2017, Leffew will team up with Joe Barth (former 82nd Airborne Paratrooper). Together they will trek to Big Sky Resort in Montana to run 17.6 miles through some of the steepest terrain in the United States while also ascending and descending from 7,000 feet up to 11,166 feet. They will “Experience The Rut” and they vow to never quit.
Ronel says, “This whole idea (Experience The Rut) came about when I was describing the event to him and we decided to do it together for GallantFew”. Unfortunately, Ronel and Joe live in different states with Joe residing in Utah and Ronel in Florida. Training together is not going to happen, but the bond and connection between veteran friends, to keep each other going, is key. “Experience the Rut enables us to be a part of something bigger than us and gives us the perfect opportunity to show the importance of physical, professional, spiritual, and social fitness,” says Leffew.
You can learn more about Ronel through his inclusion on GallantFew’s community action page or by reviewing Ronel’s orginal ride page. To donate to Ronel and Joe’s “Experience The Rut” journey you may donate here.
GallantFew is a non-profit charitable organization committed to the prevention of veteran isolation by connecting new veterans with hometown veteran mentors, thereby facilitating a peaceful, successful transition from military service to civilian life filled with hope and purpose. STAR Functional Fitness System stands for self-training and responsibility, except GallantFew changes responsibility to response-ability. The five points of the GallantFew STAR are: Emotional Fitness, Physical Fitness, Social Fitness, Professional Fitness and Spiritual Fitness.
Looking for some cool running gear? We found GallantFew’s Raider Project offering some athletic socks to support their mission.