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    Walking with a purpose

    Walking with a purpose

    Courtesy Photo | Retired U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Greg Quarles and retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ross...... read more read more



    Story by MaryTherese Griffin 

    U.S. Army Warrior Care and Transition

    Walking with a purpose
    By MaryTherese Griffin, U.S. Army Warrior Care and Transition

    ARLINGTON, Va. – Sometimes doing the smallest things can make the biggest impact. Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ross Alewine is walking 357 miles over 14 days across his home state of South Carolina to raise awareness for veterans of all services and let them know they can still be active no matter their circumstances. Alewine, along with his friend retired Sgt. 1st Class Greg Quarles, will begin walking from Sassafras Mountain, the highest point in South Carolina to Patriots Point, the lowest point, ending on September 11th.

    “First and foremost we want to show other veterans who were and are still in a bad spot that they too can be active and do something,” said Alewine, who competed for Team Army at the Paralympic-style 2018 and 2019 Department of Defense Warrior Games as well as Team U.S. at the 2018 Invictus Games. “This walk is also important to me because it is a way to teach my children that we do not allow our injuries, whether mental or physical, define us. My mantra has always been get knocked down ten times, get up eleven laughing and ask for more.”

    Alewine sustained injuries on deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan to include a traumatic brain injury and shoulder damage that required reconstructive surgery. He recovered at the Fort Belvoir, Virginia Warrior Transition Battalion. It was there he learned about the power of adaptive sports, which gave him the chance to compete again and even more reason to stay active. The everyday challenge of living a new normal is a challenge he embraces and wants others to do the same. “My new normal is nowhere close to normal and I love it. I am blessed enough to be able to compete and do things like [The Walk]. It is priceless. I have a platform to raise awareness to Soldiers, veterans and civilians about what we do with adaptive sports and how they help.”

    Alewine met Quarles at the 2018 Army Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas. Quarles, who represented Team Army at the 2016 and 2017 DoD Warrior Games, was there as a mentor and assistant archery coach. Alewine reached out to Quarles and his non-profit archery program to prepare for the 2019 DoD Warrior Games when the idea for The Walk first came up. “Greg told me about The Walk for Veterans and I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ “He is a great guy with a big heart and I am proud to call him my friend and do this Walk for Veterans with him.”

    Alewine encourages everyone to follow their adventure on social media outlets (Google and Facebook) in support of our Veterans.

    “I hope people can understand the reason we do this,” says Alewine. “It is the same reason we signed up and went to war. It is not easy nor always fun but that is what we do. Life is hard and you either can lay down and take it or fight back and do something great. All our Veterans deserve to get back up and be great. This is for them.”



    Date Taken: 08.06.2019
    Date Posted: 08.06.2019 13:20
    Story ID: 334736
    Location: ARLINGTON, VA, US 

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