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    From Deployment to Boston Marathon

    From Deployment to Boston Marathon

    Courtesy Photo | Lt. Col. Sebastian Schnellbacher, the commander of 98th Medical Detachment Combat...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Jennie Armstrong 

    593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command

    This was the experience of all the runners in the 122nd Boston Marathon held 16 April to include Lt. Col. Sebastian Schnellbacher, commander, 98th Medical Detachment Combat Stress Control, 47th Combat Support Hospital, 62nd Medical Brigade, 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

    The Boston Marathon is unlike other marathons. Most runners need to have a qualifying time from a previous marathon in order to be able to run in the race. The Boston Athletic Association wave this requirement for a few Service Members each year who have deployed within the past 12 months. Schnellbacher submitted to run this year’s marathon after being deployed to Kuwait from August 2016 to May 2017.

    The mission of 98th Medical Detachment Combat Stress Control is to provide prevention and treatment services to Soldiers. “Our job is to take care of other Soldiers in the ESC and throughout post. We have the best job in the Army. We provided behavioral health support to Soldiers around us. It is more than just direct patient care, we also do prevention and outreach and teach Soldiers how to be more resilient and how to take care of the Soldiers around them.”

    His ability to use the skills he provides to other Soldiers assisted him with the tough race.

    “It wasn’t the experience I was expecting but it was a good experience,” said Schnellbacher, a native of Saint Louis, Missouri. “I was interested in the experience after I ran the Boston Shadow Marathon in Kuwait. I kind of wanted to also experience the real thing as well. With that being said, it was a tough race; your shoes were filled with water, you’re soaking wet and the wind is blowing in your face.”

    The Boston Athletic Association brings the Boston Marathon Shadow Runs to thousands of U.S. Armed Forces personnel stationed overseas so they can participate in “shadow” version of the Boston Marathon.

    “This is an official Boston Marathon just in Kuwait. It was 26.2 miles on gravel and sand instead of the streets of Boston,” said Schnellbacher.

    Schnellbacher has only run three marathons in his life. Two while deployed to Kuwait and the Boston Marathon.

    “I don’t consider myself a runner. I would just increase my normal distance from a couple miles to adding a half a mile each week while I was deployed. Then, I increased it by a mile each week to the point where I was running a marathon. So, it was just a personal goal that happened during deployment. It was an experience that was worthwhile. I am glad I did it.”

    The marathon is always held on Patriots’ Day, the third Monday in April. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon. It is one of the six world’s championship-style competitions for marathon runners and one of the worlds’ best-known road racing events.

    “My goal at the time was just to finish, have fun and enjoy the race,” said Schnellbacher. “Even though it was pouring, there were still thousands upon thousands of people lining the streets. So, you would wave to them and give them high fives and just enjoy the race as you run it with them.



    Date Taken: 04.27.2018
    Date Posted: 06.12.2018 18:40
    Story ID: 274876

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