Shepherd’s Men Completes Sixth Annual Run to Raise Funds, Awareness for SHARE Military Initiative
Team moves toward $1.2 million goal for 2019 for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress treatment for combat veterans.
- Shepherds Men Arrival at Shepherd Center 2019Shepherd's Men runners and SHARE Military Initiative clients arrive to a homecoming celebration on Memorial Day 2019.
- Shepherd's Men Arrival at Shepherd Center2019Shepherd's Men runners and SHARE Military Initiative clients arrive to a homecoming celebration on Memorial Day 2019.
- Shepherds Men Arrival at Shepherd CenterShepherd's Men runners and SHARE Military Initiative clients arrive to a homecoming celebration on Memorial Day 2019.
- Shepherds Men Arrival on Peachtree Road 2019-4
- Former SHARE Client Jorge Rodriguez at Shepherd's Men 2019 HomecomingFormer SHARE Client Jorge Rodriguez gets a welcoming hug at Shepherd's Men 2019 Homecoming.
- SHARE Military Initiative Client Allan SweatSHARE Military Initiative Client Allan Sweat ran the last leg of the Shepherd's Men run on Memorial Day 2019.
- Sarah Morrison Speaks at Shepherd's Men Homecoming 2019Shepherd Center Chief Executive Officer Sarah Morrison speaks at the Shepherd's Men Homecoming 2019.
- Travis Ellis at Shepherd's Men Homecoming 2019Travis Ellis, co-founder of Shepherd's Men, speaks at the Shepherd's Men Homecoming 2019.
- Jessica Rodriguez at Shepherd's Men Homecoming 2019Jessica Rodriguez, the wife of former SHARE client Jorge Rodriguez, speaks at the Shepherd's Men Homecoming 2019.
Shepherd's Men, a team of active and former servicemen and civilians finished their epic, eight-city run on Monday, May 27 – Memorial Day, a day chosen for its significance in honoring fallen U.S. service members.
Since 2014, Shepherd's Men has completed a run every spring to raise awareness about suicide among veterans and to support the life-saving work of Shepherd Center's SHARE Military Initiative. SHARE is a comprehensive program that focuses on assessment and treatment for service men and women who have sustained mild to moderate traumatic brain injury, along with co-occurring post-traumatic stress (PTS) or other mental health concerns (such as depression or anxiety), from military service post-9/11. SHARE Military Initiative provides hope, assistance, support and education to service members and their families during their recovery treatment and beyond.
Shepherd's Men started their run this year on May 19 in New York City as they climbed the 80 stories of Three World Trade Center with New York Fire Department members. From there, they ran a series of half-marathons through eight cities – finishing in Atlanta. Along their route, they met with corporate donors and supporters, firefighters and other veteran resource groups and individual donors to speak about SHARE.
On Monday, May 27, a crowd of supporters, friends and family members gathered along Peachtree Road to welcome Shepherd's Men and a number of current and former SHARE clients with cheers and applause as a police escort led the way into a celebration outside the Woodruff Family Residence Center at Shepherd Center.
Shepherd Center CEO and President Sarah Morrison, PT, MBA, MHA, welcomed the runners and guests and introduced Shepherd's Men co-founder Travis Ellis. Now in its sixth year, Shepherd's Men has raised more than $5 million in total to provide care through SHARE, he said.
"Our goal is to identify people in need, those service members who are suffering in silence, find them and bring them to SHARE," Ellis explained. "We want them to see there is hope and recovery here.... SHARE is the model for care, and it needs to be replicated across this country."
Also showing his support at the event was Joe De Angelo, CEO of HD Supply, which has supported SHARE as an ongoing sponsor of Shepherd's Men. DeAngelo ran the last leg of the Shepherd's Men run with the group today.
The crowd also heard a heartfelt testimonial from Jessica Rodriguez, the wife of former SHARE client Jorge Rodriguez, who ran with Shepherd's Men this year to support the group who helped support him for three months in 2015 when he participated in SHARE. Jessica described SHARE as a miracle in Jorge's life. He doubted that the program would help him, he told Jessica the night before he came to Atlanta with his family. But Jessica said they quickly discovered how different SHARE was than any other treatment Jorge had received in the VA system for a traumatic brain injury he sustained in Iraq during combat.
"My husband made it because of SHARE," Jessica said. "These guys, Shepherd's Men, are my heroes." (Read Jessica's full story in her blog.)
The Shepherd's Men event culminated with a flag presentation by SHARE clients to Ellis in honor of his leadership with and dedication to Shepherd's Men.
Shepherd’s Men will continue to raise funds for the SHARE Military Initiative throughout the year. For more information or to donate, click here. You also can support Shepherd’s Men through special events, including its upcoming Dinner, Bourbon Tasting and Auction evening on October 24, 2019 at Indian Hills Country Club in metro Atlanta. For more information, visit shepherdsmen.com and follow Shepherd's Men on Facebook.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.