The war on terrorism in the Middle East is supposedly winding down, although no one can realistically refer to this political nightmare as “a win.” When everything is said and done – though it is unlikely it will ever be “said and done” – the number of men and women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 is more than 2.5 million. And, estimates are another 1.2 million will yet serve and be coming home over the next four years.
Once back on American soil, things will not easily return to normal for our warriors. After the atrocities of war, many will be coping with a failure to adjust leading to divorce, unemployment - even homelessness. More than 26 percent will have some form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including deep depression, anxiety and survivor remorse, which may manifest itself immediately or perhaps not for several years. In any case, the man or woman who left for the battlefield is unlikely to be the same man or woman who comes home with battle scars, which may not be evident, even to those who are closest to them.
Team Red, White and Blue, headed up in the local community by Garrett Johnson and Doug Cook, create communities of veterans, their families and concerned citizens to enjoy authentic interaction through physical and social activities for a balanced transition from military life.
In St. George, Team RWB gathers each Tuesday evening for yoga; on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays for cross fit; weekly bike rides together on Fridays and a weekend run or walk on Saturdays. There are also social events, hiking and "other" activities on the schedule. Upcoming includes the Kokopelli Run at Sand Hollow on September 12; the Santa Clara Swiss Days 5K on September 26; St. George Marathon on October 3 and the Snow Canyon Half Marathon on Veterans Day (November 7).
For more information, contact US Army (Retd.) Doug Cook at 773-0138 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.