UPDATED: April 2, 2012, at 3:59 a.m.
More than 40 military veterans, Harvard undergraduates, and local community members participated in a five kilometer race on Saturday to honor Marine scout sniper Clay W. Hunt, who advocated for veterans’ rights and struggled personally with post-traumatic stress disorder. Hunt committed suicide in March 2011.
The 5K was co-sponsored by Harvard College Veterans Engagement Initiative and Team Rubicon—a veterans service organization that Hunt helped to found. According to Levi Briscoe, New England Coordinator of Team Rubicon, the “RUN AS ONE” races were designed to create a sense of community among U.S. veterans.
“[Team Rubicon] gives Marines a place to come home to,” Briscoe continued, especially for soldiers who find it difficult to transition back to civilian life.
Robert L. Schneider ’13, HCVEI's project leader for the event, gave words of encouragement at the starting line before sending the runners around the Harvard Stadium, down the Charles River, and back.
Race participants were given the option of donating to Team Rubicon in honor of an individual of choice. The final tally came in at $2,045.
HCVEI Project Coordinator Sean E. Kesluk ’14 said that when he heard of “RUN AS ONE,” he jumped at the opportunity, reaching out to Team Rubicon to ask if they could hold a race on Harvard’s campus.
With the return of Harvard’s Army and Naval ROTC programs this past year, the armed services have been the focus of campus discussion as Harvard aims to repair its ties with the military.
“There certainly has been a stigma against veterans within the Harvard community,” Kesluk said, “but any school or community could significantly benefit from increased service.”
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
CORRECTION: April 2
An earlier version of this article referred to Robert L. Schneider ’13 as the president of the Harvard College Veterans Engagement Initiative. In fact, he was the project leader for the RUN AS ONE race co-sponsored by the organization.