In early Spring 2015, I participated in the Philadelphia sector of the Hot Chocolate 5k/15k series. The Independence Blue Cross Broad Street Run was only about a month away, so I figured it was a great way to gauge readiness. Welp that indeed is a story for another time. However, during the run, despite my playlist and begrudging my decision to run, a woman ran by holding an American flag. And not your dollar store flags, I mean at least a 3×5 foot on a 4ft pole Old Glory; she was around my height and floating through the crowd. I was mesmerized, in awe. I focused on the flag and continued running. Eventually it disappeared from sight, but the image resonated.
Today I want to shine spotlight on a non-profit organization that I am proud to say I am a member of and am truly passionate about; Team RWB (Red White & Blue). The same organization where members honor the fallen and living in races by running with the flag.
Team RWB is a non-profit, national organization connecting civilians and veterans through camaraderie, physicality, and community. Their mission reflects these principles.
Team RWB’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. [TeamRWB.org]
I found Team RWB through a mat-mate Amanda Rondon (now the Director of the Philadelphia area Chapter), at Grace and Glory Yoga-Fishtown’s community class in August 2015. I noticed her wristband with the eagle insignia and asked about it. I found out through our pre class conversation that team RWB were the flag barrers at local races. After a sweaty yoga session, we briefly discussed Team RWB and what they were about.
She mentioned a book club they were hosting, with the focus on Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. As an avid reader and fan of Brene, I took the plunge and saved the date. At the first meeting I immediately felt welcomed by the mixed group of women and men – veterans, active, loved ones of military members, and supporters of veterans. It was a six week program, with access via internet if unable to meet in person. (My first intro to Google Hangouts!)
Team RWB members share more than just mission and values. They share an ethos – a set of guiding beliefs and ideals that characterize their community. “An ethos persuades or inspires people to action…and that is what our organization is all about.” TeamRWB.org.
The Eagle Ethos (#eagleethos) encompasses six words, and each member strives to live each in action every day; passion, people, positivity, commitment, camaraderie, and community.
As described on the team site, each word of the ethos has a role:
+ Passion – we care more, we work harder, and we share our story
+ People – veterans and community drive everything we do
+ Positivity – we don’t ignore the challenges, we just stay positive and attack them
+ Commitment – we are dedicated to each other, our mission, and our communities
+ Camaraderie – we improve lives through genuine, personal relationships
+ Community – this is what we are building…at every level
Although I am not as physically active, in events, as I would like to be, living the #eagleethos and bringing awareness to the beauty and wonderful opportunities this organization presents, and encouraging others to get involved, will suffice for now. One day, I hope to have the honor of running with the flag and inspire others, just as I was.
To learn more, click on the link
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