Stride & Ride Relay Honors 9/11 Victims, Heroes, Veterans in New Jersey

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Since September 11, 2001, we have lost over 6,800 military members killed in the line of duty. However, in that same time frame, we have lost over 73,000 veterans to suicide, also known as the invisible wounds of war. That translates to 22 veterans that take their own lives every day, which does not include the 1 active military member every day and the 4 first responders every week that take their own lives.

To honor and remember these individuals, Give2Those hosts the annual Stride & Ride Relay, a 911-mile relay from Boston, MA, to Washington, DC. The relay stops at over 60 different memorials along this 8-day journey and breaks down each stop into 1 of 5 stages: walking, rucking, running, biking, and motorcycling.

The Stride & Ride Relay tactical team and volunteers carry a folded American flag with over 10,000 images that loved ones have sent in of military, veterans, and first responders we have lost, as well as images of all the 9/11 victims. The flag is opened at the Pentagon Memorial on the final day of the Relay and all images are laid out in honor and remembrance.

Give2Those is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides vital financial and emotional support to our active military, veterans, and first responders. First founded in Boston by Heather Viveiros, Give2Those launched a Mid-Atlantic chapter, based in New Jersey and led by executive director, Pat Ternyila, a life-long New Jersey local.

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“I’m not a veteran, nor am I a first responder,” said Pat, “I just do not want to be 1 of the many which lose sight that we live safe and secure lives because of the selfless dedication of great men and women. This is the least I can do to honor the heroes we have lost and support those that need our help.”

There are numerous opportunities to volunteer with Give2Those, as well as ways to get your children involved. While 9/11 was a tragic day in American history, it is important to educate the youth about this and to have the utmost respect for our veterans and first responders. Volunteers of all ages are welcome and encouraged to sign up for a leg of the relay here.

The relay kicks off around October 7 every year to honor the day that our troops were deployed after the attacks on 9/11. This year’s relay kicks off on October 5, 2019, but on October 7, the relay will make its way to Mountainside, NJ, the nearest stop to Madison, around 5:40pm. At this time, the tactical team and volunteers will bike 6.9 miles from Echo Lake Park in Mountainside, NJ,  to VFW Post 1397 in Linden, NJ. Families and individuals of all ages are welcome to sign up to join this leg of the race, as well as any others that suit your schedule or needs.

Donations can be made to Give2Those to help provide financial support for the Stride & Ride Relay; Give2Those is a not-for-profit organization, so all donations are 100% tax-deductible. Your donation will make an impact.

“As a nation, we need to end the stigma about PTSD and find ways to engage our veterans and support them, while also educating the public about PTSD,” said Heather, founder of Give2Those and the Stride & Ride Relay. “We need to let the public and our veterans know that PTSD is a treatable condition and we can help save lives - We can help our veterans break free from this stigma.”

To keep up to date with the Stride & Ride Relay as well as other Give2Those events, follow their Facebook page or contact the team to receive email updates give2thosemidatlantic@gmail.com about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities. The Stride & Ride Relay is currently looking for sponsors for this year’s relay; contact our team to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

If you or someone you know has a loved one that should be included in the Give2Those flag to be honored and remembered, please contact Pat immediately.