NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Eight ROTC cadets, including David Dinerman from New Providence, began a fundraising relay run from The University of Delaware on July 28. They entered Louisiana today on their way to Houston. This will be a 1,670-mile journey when it ends this Saturday in downtown Houston.
The group is running to raise money for two veterans groups, "Team Red, White and Blue" and "Got Your 6." These groups help veterans acclimate into society after serving overseas.
"We're averaging between 100, 115 miles over a 15-day period. We're each individually running between 15 and 20 miles a day," said Micah Petersen, co-leader of the run and a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point. "We split it up after five-mile legs, so we got one guy running five miles, the rest of the team's in the RV. We go up to the five-mile checkpoint. He jumps out, next guy jumps in the bus and we switch out at the next checkpoint."
The runners are on schedule even though they fight through injury and exhaustion.
"We didn't have much time to train for this specifically, and that's one of the really cool things is that we said we had a mission that we wanted to do, and even though we didn't have what most people would say is sufficient time to train, we said we were going to do it and we set out and did it, and now we're over halfway and still going strong," Petersen said.
Reviresco is the fundraising site the cadets are using. It is a Latin word meaning "renewed."
"Civilians are in charge of a large part of the decision making for the military, so if the civilians don't understand very well what the needs are of the military, it's going to be a lot more difficult for them to make those decisions," said Dinerman, a runner and cadet with the University of Delaware ROTC program. "It's their tax dollars. It's their votes. It's everything like that, that goes into making these decisions for the well-being and safety of our country and our families."
They have three days left in their journey and still have to get through Louisiana before they arrive in Houston.