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Achilles International
March 23, 2010

Achilles was introduced to me about 12 years ago, and I immediately fell in love with the REAL PROGRAM it provides for all people with disabilities, to participate in mainstream marathons all around the country! The Achilles FREEDOM TEAM of Wounded Veterans focuses specifically on our men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and allows them to set a goal, and train to compete in a marathon not up on a pedestal, yet in their wheelchairs on the course with everyone else. Focusing on their strength and endurance, they ACHIEVE what most Americans don't even dare try ... 26.2 miles. I've run 10 marathons myself, and knowing that amazing sense of accomplishment, that you can do so much more ... is what is being offered by Achilles. Incredible program, great sense of "family" and support - it's become a major focus of my life, because I believe in what is being done, without huge amounts of money being spent on administrative paperwork and excess staff. BRAVO ACHILLES!!!

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing recently wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan CROSS THE FINISH LINE of a marathon ... in LA, Boston, Chicago, DC and NYC!!!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have more staff available for recruiting and training at VA hospitals all across the country, and not just Walter Reed, Balboa and Brooke.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the FACES of these men and women when they cross the line, and get a medal put around their neck, while their spouse and family looks on.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extremely dedicated, personable, and willing to help wherever needed.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Have it's own 'CLUBHOUSE' where athletes could meet, and history could be displayed like a museum of accomplishment of our wounded vets, mentored by other athletes with disabilities. More trainers could be available to recruit and get vets into marathons

Ways to make it better...

MORE veterans could have been part of the team. Often either the funds are limited since the vets and their families participate at no cost to them,OR it's a marathon that limits the slots available for the vets.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

continued fundraising in a weakened economy ... men and women are still returning from the war and NEED THE FOCUSED attention and program that Achilles can offer, without huge delays in paperwork.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Many organizations have millions of dollars, and don't come close to putting out the program Achilles does with their limited budget. Imagine if Achilles had more to work with.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & Caregiver, involved in disabilities over 40 years, program training, advocacy, events.