I helped and ran with the Mongolian Chapter of Achilles at this years NYC marathon and couldn't have been more impressed. The Chapters are made to feel part of a global family, and the support given to the athletes is awesome and humbling. There are countless cliches thrown around about helping to change people's lives but the work of Achilles was one of the few times in my life where I have witnessed it first hand. Amazing work team Achilles!!
My journey to support the Freedom Team of Wounded and Disabled Veterans is a personal one. In 2007 my brother Luigi Marciante Jr. was deployed to Iraq. I remember feeling so empty and desperate to “do something” that I decided the best way to channel my energy was to develop a team, participate in the Hope & Possibility and donate our money to the Freedom Team. Our team name was Pay It Forward because I believed that if people would adopt this very basic concept and support our veterans, think of all the great things we could accomplish. Sadly on September 20th 2007 we were informed that my brother, Cpl. Luigi Marciante Jr. had been killed by an improvised explosive device. That was a day that sadly I always kept in the back of my mind as a worst case scenario but its one of those things that you pray never happens to you. I don’t remember when exactly but shortly after his death, I called Mary Bryant, Vice-President, and Founder of the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans. I knew the best way to honor my brother’s memory was to dedicate my life to supporting disabled and wounded veteran causes, Achilles would be my vehicle to do so. That was when “Team S.O.S. – Support Our Soldiers” in honor of fallen and wounded veterans was born. I am very proud to say that since 2008 we have raised over $40,000.00 for the Endow A Chair Program and my brother’s name graces the back of many chairs along with some other very brave young men. Achilles is an amazing organization for many reasons but for our family it is has given us an opportunity to support the disabled veteran community while honoring the memory of our loved ones. GO ACHILLES!!