Running Fir Wreaths
I knew I wanted to start the year off doing something good for our veterans and I wanted to plant good seeds for the new year, so on 1-January, 2019, I ran a half marathon (that's 13.1 miles to be exact) at a local veterans park near my home in honor of our Nations Veterans--past, present and future. When I got home from running I immediately got online and sponsored 13 live balsam veterans wreaths -- one for each mile I ran -- as a way to do my part, joining the Wreaths Across America mission to "REMEMBER our fallen, HONOR those currently serving and their families, and TEACH the next generation the value of freedom."
I wanted to do this because I personally received so much healing when I learned that the wreaths laying at my own sons grave at Arlington National Cemetery each December were not simple Christmas decorations as I had thought, but instead were so much more. I learned that these wreaths are each sponsored ($15 each) by generous and loving people who truly care about our fallen and their families. They are grown and produced in Columbia Falls, Maine, then volunteers carry them by the truckloads to veteran cemeteries all across our Nation. Then on National Wreaths Across America Day volunteers come together to lay the wreaths and say the names of our loved ones out loud. What an overwhelming and healing realization that came over me when I learned beautiful souls had been visiting my sons resting place and saying his name -- "Senior Airman Bryce Powers" -- as they fluffed and adjusted the bright red bow attached and gently laid the wreath against his headstone. This helped my Momma heart heal.
After I sponsored the 13 veterans wreaths online, I created a simple sign that read "I'm Running Fir Wreaths" and my veteran husband took a picture of me proudly holding it up in our yard. I then shared it to my social media, online. Within a couple days I made a personal goal to RUN 1,000 MILES within ALL 50 STATES in 2019 in HONOR OF OUR NATIONS VETERANS while hoping to raise sponsorships for 7,777 live veterans wreaths for Wreaths Across America Day at Arlington National Cemetery.
I MADE IT! WE MADE IT! THE GOALS WERE ALL MET!
A huge shout out and THANK YOU to our Nations Veterans, to my host families, fellow runners, my AMMO family, Blue and Gold Star Families, my wing sisters, all patriots, and of course to my Wreaths Across America Family as I couldn’t do any of this without your help and support.
Here is my OFFICIAL 2019 TALLY::
—Ran a little over 1,031 miles.
—Ran in all 50 States, plus Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the Navajo Nation.
—Ran in six countries (USA, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Canada.)
—Raised sponsorships for 11,215 beautiful live balsam wreaths for our fallen at Arlington National Cemetery.
—The state with the most running miles was North Carolina, coming in at 472.5 miles.
—The state with the least running miles was in Massachusetts, coming in at 2.7 miles.
—The Running Fir Wreaths Mobile driving miles (with me behind the wheel) was 44,847 miles.
—The Airline Flight miles for my Running Fir Wreaths adventures in California, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, and overseas was 28,177 miles.