WKU Raises Awareness for Wounded Warriors
COLONY (Western Kentucky) — WKU Alpha Tau Omega fraternity hosted a run Thursday, October 27 to raise money and awareness for the Wounded Warrior project.
Planning for the event began last spring, and members of ATO’s philanthropy committee have been working hard to make the run a success. ATO is a leadership fraternity, so many members are also in ROTC and plan to have a career in the military.
Participants lined up at the Health Services building, made a loop around campus, and ended at a tent set up on South Lawn. Free Monster energy drinks were provided to participants at the tent. Hopkinsville junior Corey Mayes, an ATO member, is a campus representative for Monster and was able to secure them as a sponsor for the run.
The program, which was founded in 2003, was designed to help wounded soldiers readjust to life with either mental or physical injuries, according to the Wounded Warrior website. There are many programs veterans can get involved in, from free rehabilitation groups to help with education costs.
New Bern, N.C., junior Larry Lee, ATO’s philanthropy chair, chose to plan an event to support Wounded Warrior when he heard about everything they were doing for injured soldiers. Although Lee doesn’t personally know anyone being helped by the Wounded Warrior program, he’s currently a sergeant in the Army and served overseas for three years before coming back to continue his education at WKU.
Once all the runners were finished, former marine and current Wounded Warrior spokesman Glenn Kunkel thanked everyone for participating. Kunkel explained the Wounded Warrior symbol, which portrays one soldier carrying another soldier, and the philosophy of the Wounded Warrior program.
Kunkel, who “got blown up” during his service overseas, suffers from brain trauma and anxiety disorder. Despite his injuries, Kunkel still has a positive outlook on life.
“Some people call it a disability. I call it an adaptation,” he said. “I’ve just had to learn to readapt to life.”
He says Wounded Warrior is one of the best things to happen to the veteran’s community and is changing, if not saving, lives of soldiers. Kunkel is a current University of Louisville student and travels around the country speaking at Wounded Warrior fundraising events.
The event raised more than $500 from entries, plus the money raised from T-shirt sales. Lee called the event a success, saying ATO hopes to make the event an annual fundraiser to continue their support for Wounded Warrior.
*Find the original article via the College Heights Herald of Western Kentucky University.