Howdy Team WWP,
Here we go ~ I’ll stick to my title, and go in order. First, the training week. Running every day now, at about a 7:30 – 8:30 pace per mile. Consistency is what I’m after, and it’s starting to come about. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I’ve been running down to the gym and doing a series of leg/quad strengthening exercises to keep the area around the left knee and tendon intact. I’m up to 3 sets of 3:30 wall sits, so that’s encouraging. On the whole, I ran roughly 36 miles this past week (up from 33.5 and 31 the past two weeks, respectively). I also visited the acupuncturist on Friday. I’m starting to think that my knee challenge is one that will never quite heal, but one that I can manage to the point of tolerability. We’ll see. My biggest change though, has definitely been to modify my running form in order to take more load off the knees and shift it to the feet and calves. Speaking of which, my right foot continues to heal ~ slowly, but it’s getting there. It’s sort of generally sore from time to time, but nothing that would make me think that it’s still fundamentally broken.

Much, much more importantly, back in Minnesota, Tom and our good friends the Saint Paul Vulcans hosted our Annual Gala/Silent Auction at the Prom Center in Oakdale. It was an amazing event. Tom put so much effort into this one…and was rewarded with a night that, on the whole, generated about $31,000 for the WWP! That means, when all is said and done, we’ll be at $130,000! And we’ve still got many months to go until the end of the year goal of $150,000! I can’t say enough about how proud I am of the place that I call home. You know, in the military, you sort of become a nomad. You move around a lot, which is sort of nice in doses (DC and Arizona were great for awhile), but hopefully you remain proud of where you came from. Thankfully, I can be. Thankfully, I have a home state in Minnesota that is kind, generous, and willing to find a way to be grateful to those who many others effectively choose to turn a blind eye to. Tom has asked me to sort of try to highlight our relationship with the Vulcans and the other local folks by referring to us a “Team Minnesota WWP” (or is it the other way around Tom?) ~ either way, he’s absolutely right. This isn’t Tom and I so much anymore…it’s becoming more and more of a community effort. And I hope to continue to contribute, to pull my weight and share as part of a truly great group!

Last, but certainly not least, a story ~

Click on this link to USA Today story on severely wounded veterans.

I’ve said it before, modern medicine and science does an amazing job putting our soliders, sailors, airmen and marines back together after they’ve sustained horrifying injuries. But sometimes those choices aren’t so easy…can you imagine, having lost one leg, having to accept the second one being cut away? Especially after having expressed that has your worst nightmare? No matter how emotionally resilient, how strong one’s psychological armor ~ that scalpel would cut to the soul. And it takes organizations like our exceptional VA and it’s resources…and the Wounded Warrior Project and it’s array of assistance…to get a brave young American back into his life. He (and they) deserve no less.

All my best & keep moving forward, Matt

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