Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Retro Blog .."To RUCK and Roll ...10-7-12 (Two-fer)

Posted on 10-6-12  PRE-RACE
Its “RUCK” & ROLL time…The Chicago Marathon (26.2 miles) is here 10.07.12 and there’s no turning back. The RUCK is all packed with 4.5 x 1 gallons of water, my gear & hydration, total weight expected 43lbs. The 6 ft. flag pole is ready with the flags.


The RUCK will represent the “US ARMY”.  My cap (Marine Corp utility) for the day will represent the “U.S. Marine Corp” and Honoring Marine Louis M. "Red" Pelosi 84 (World War II and the Korean War. For gallantry in action in Korea he was awarded the Silver Star and was also the recipient of 3 Purple Hearts) who passed away last week in Boston” and “Lt. John Patrick O’Shea, (Retired Marine Corp Pilot and father in-law to a Chicago Police Officer)”. The flags will represent the “Chicago Police Memorial Foundation” and the “Wounded Warrior Project”. 


Good luck to my friends racing tomorrow, have a safe and enjoyable time. To all the volunteers thank you for all your time. The race will not be easy as I’m running with a heavy heart but my determination and the crowd will get me through it. I’ll be running on the right side of the street for most of the race if you see me give a shout out.  

The “Police officers” holding the blue line 24x7 and the families of the officers killed in the line of duty. Thank one along the race route today. Just a simple thank you is all that’s needed. A special honorable mention goes to Cecil Jones and the Boston Police Department whose endless support and friendship is treasured. (Mile 18 is for the Boston Police Department) (Mile 19 is for Detective Rhonda Anderson, Kate Sanchez, Mike Sanchez, David Alcazar, Sgt. Pat Donavan, Abe Martinez, Sgt. Meg Flisk, Maverick Garcia, David Formanski, Albert J. Guarnieri, Gary Frear, Joe Rivera).

The “INTEL” Community: Johnny "Mike" Spann (A.K.I.A, Afghanistan), Jose A. Rodriguez, Jr. (Retired), and Hank Crumpton (Retired) and to all of the 103 stars carved into the white Vermont marble wall in Langley.  Their deeds and bravery to protect all of us will never be known to only a select few. Hank (Mile 1 is for you because you and your officers are always the first in)

The “Wounded Warrior Project” veterans who have given their bodies and their youth for a greater cause. Melissa Hoffman Stockwell (US ARMY retired), Chad Watson (U.S. Marine Corp, retired), “The Beast” Brian Hicks (U.S. Army retired) and all my uncles whom all lived with the scars of battle from WWII & Korea who wore their Purple Hearts with distinction and without complaint. (Mile 20 “the wall” is for you all because it’s the hardest for me and you constantly inspire me to get past the wall).

The finish line medals will be staffed by Wounded Warrior Project volunteers. Please thank them as they place the medal around your neck.  

Special shout out to my dear friend Stephanie Felber the IRONMAN a cancer “survivor”. She the toughest lady I know (Mile 25 is for you sweetheart). To Josh Singewald brother, Chris who’s fighting back from a catastrophic injury. Keep moving forward buddy. (Mile 24 is for you).

Thank you all for contributing to my charities.

God bless this country, Semper Fi and Good Livin…one and all… David
Post race recap...10/8/13
Thanks to everyone below who helped me raise money for these two wonderful charities. Some of you gave to both. Total raised this year: $3,221.00

It was the hardest physical event I’ve ever done from start to finish. My feet took a real beating but I still have them and they will get better. My shoulders and arms are sore, but I still have them and they will get better. The people I race for don’t have that luxury so I’m grateful for being able to complete this event. The support I received from my team before, during and after the race was remarkable.

I have no idea how I finished that last mile but when I turned on Michigan Ave and headed up Roosevelt Bridge for those last 200 meters to the finish line the crowd and fellow runners lifted me off my feet to the end. I can’t tell you how much support during and after the race I’ve received. 1 out of 3 runners made an effort to run from the opposite side of the street to thank me, ask if I needed any help, thank you sir, Semper Fi, I saw you do this at the Lake Geneva Triathlon, tell me about their service experience, can I take a photo with you. Mothers who have sons & daughters in the military ran up to me in the water stops to hug and kiss me and thank me. It was overwhelming and very gratifying.
I had to stop short of the finish to catch my breath and adjust my pack and as I bent down a team of medical people came over to me to see if I was alright and the doctor said, "did you really carry that the whole race? Ughh yeah... holy shit man?" I straighten up grabbed the flag pole and ran to the finish and the crowd just roared it was amazing and as I crossed the finish lline my friend Dan who was a race official saw me and I lost it. I got down on one knee and shed a few tears I was completely spent emotionally and physically. When I got to my team tent most of my teammates had already finished and were waiting for me when I walked in both men and women had tears in their eyes and grabbed me as I was about to fall from exhaustion. Even the deputy chief of the Chicago Police Dept came up to me to shake my hand and take a photo..A few hours later I decided to head home and took the RED LINE and I ended my day cold, tired, sore, alone and a little down and then this happens a few hours later:

“I walk into "Q" BBQ to order a Fred Flintstone size burger with all the sides...and this table of men and women see me and tell the waitress to pick up my tab. Why I asked? "You're that crazy guy who ran with giant pack and flags, please join us at our table. We wanted to thank you because our son is in the military and our other son is a cop"...Nice way to end a long day. I love Karma....”
My dear friend Laura from Wisconsin sent this to me after the race and posted it on her Facebook site and I've received over 40 emails from people as a result. (She ran the race also and I never saw her the whole day)....
Let's just face it, 26.2 is difficult without a doubt ... but I could not walk for even a moment during the race yesterday thinking about how my friend Dave Zaro ran Chicago this year - with a 40 pound ruck and flags for Chicago Police and ...
the Wounded Warrior Project. It never ceases to amazing me how the strength of the human spirit transfers strength to the human body - allowing incredible, seemingly impossible feats to be accomplished. You are admired by many Dave Zaro
Someone from this site saw me at mile 24 and wrote this little story...

Post Race Phewwww
China Town


4AM before the start
Post Race

Chicago school age children and younger shot and school age children and younger homicides 2013

Dear Mayor...We know this is a part time gig for you here and it gets in the way with your full time job to: prep for the next presidential run, your fundraising, conducting polls to see if you would be a shoe in for VP with Hilory, your multi-million dollar portfolios etc. You're still a north shore suburban elitist douche bag midget and you will NEVER be a Chicagoan no matter how many ball games you attend or slices of deep dish pizzas you take photos in front of. Oh and one more thing. What's going on in our city is disgraceful. It's going to be a hot deadly summer this year.

Just a few totals for this time of the year..


School age children killed 19

School age children shot 92

18 year old man shot in Chicago Lawn

16 year old shot in Woodlawn

18 year old man shot in Austin

16 year old shot in Austin

17 year old man shot in Gage Park

2 men shot in South Chicago Update: 1 killed, 1 wounded 18

18 year old man shot in Austin

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Who are the real news worthy people of Boston?

In the wake of last weeks Boston Marathon bombings, many took to social media to comment on the tragedy. One of the sentiments repeated again and again came from Mister Rogers.
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.

Who is Ryan?

He's a Boston Police officer whom I had the pleasure of meeting a few times and I saw him again on Monday morning of the race at the start. We spoke for a few minutes catching up on his career and family. So who is this guy?
He just finished going to law school at night, passed the bar and is applying that to his new role in the department. He has 3 children and a wife. And if that's not enough he woke up at dawn to help take us out to Hoppington to set up our race tents and then traveled back to the city to bring our gear bags back. He then waited  near the finish line all day to take us back to south Boston where our gear bags were. When the explosions happened he ran to the explosions to help out where he could and remained there the rest of the evening with my other friend Cecil. I don't know many people in this world who race into danger like that but to me these guys are hero's in my book. They and many other "helpers" helped protect and save a lot of people that day and their other efforts in finding the killers was never really told. I hope they make a movie about this day sometime because these guys should be in the script.
I thought you all should know who this person is and the many others on the Boston PD that day. Why? I think this is the type of person we should be seeing on the newscasts instead of the two animals who are responsible for the horror on April 15.   

RYAN IS IN THE BLACK CAP. He also lost his hearing in both ears

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Melissa my American hero...

Lt. Melissa Stockwell (Ret)

So here it was last Monday evening in Lincoln Park and I just thought a few hundred runners might show up for the Boston Strong run and then I look up and there are over 1,500+ from all the running clubs and stores in Chicago. I saw many many friends who were out showing their support some even wearing the old school 90's Boston Marathon cotten race shirts.

At the last second I brought the flags I carried in the Boston 2013 race that I didn't get to finish due to the terror attack. I wasn't feeling really great on Monday to be honest with you, my body was sore and I was bit depressed by the whole attack and kinda of dragged myself out to run because someone said there would be pie. I'm glad I did.

Somewhere near mile 21 Boston Marathon

As I stood at the start line alone leaning on my flag pole my friend Melissa Stockwell walks up to me and gives me a giant hug. If you're unaware who Melissa is just Google her name and trust me you'll enjoy what you will read. This person never ceases to amaze me. The pain I was feeling in my legs and my Achilles went away just from her hug. Why? Mellisa has one leg (wounded in Iraq), she also just got back from racing in a half ironman in California 2 days before and she has a giant smile on her face. What problems do I have? None, nada, zilch.

Off we go leading the pack

Melissa and I at the finish
We both ran together to the finish line and I could see she was in pain from the new leg she was using and not to mention the blisters etc from the Ironman she incurred 2 days prior. No complaining, no bitching and moaning..just a smirk on her face that her "little leg" will get her to the finish line. There was no mention of what she was going to be doing that week at all after the race. Just a high five at the end of the evening and hug and we both left the park. Me to a bar with some teammates and her back home to Brian and Jake (her service dog).

Melissa and I near the end of the run

Fast forward to CNN and I'm watching the George W. Bush presidential library opening ceremony. Who steps up to the stage? Melissa was given the honor to lead the audience in the pledge of allegiance. Why wasn't I surprised? This is typical of a person who's modest of her accomplishments, her mentoring of others with disabilities, children etc. President Bush took her by the hand and introduced her to all the other living Presidents as his friend. Pretty amazing day for someone don't you think? It's because she's a pretty amazing person that's why.

Big O and W with Melissa