U.S. Army service men and ND MBA students Kurt Wilson (left) and Sean McCaffery flank ND MBA Admissions Director Brian Lohr.
About the time most of us will be waking up on Saturday,
June 9, a group of five men will be purposefully marching along the orchard-lined
roads of southern Michigan. Wearing combat boots instead of the expected
addidas, carrying CamelBak packs, MREs and American flags, the men are on a
mission: to raise money and awareness
for wounded veterans through the Wounded Warrior Project.
“Our theme for the walk is, ‘Irish Lead the Way,” said
Brian Lohr, the director of University of Notre Dame MBA Admissions who
organized the walk. “This is really just about honoring the sacrifice of those
who serve in the military, which is true to the Notre Dame mission. We’re a
small group with a modest goal, but if we can raise enough to move one soldier
to his or her next phase of life, we’ll call it a success.”
The plan is to set off from the Notre Dame campus at
about 3 a.m. on June 9 and hike about 30 miles to Weko Beach in Bridgman,
Mich., by 1:30 p.m.
The group is a mix of Notre Dame MBA military
students and staff: Lohr, who grew up as a military brat with a father Richard
who served in the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division for 20 years
before retiring with the rank of colonel; Andrew Sama, senior associate
director of ND MBA Admissions and prior Air Force enlisted; Sean McCaffery,
U.S. Army major and one-year MBA student (’13); and Kurt Wilson, U.S. Army
staff sergeant and second-year student (’13).
Tim Shea, managing partner of Architectural Products Magazine based in
Chicago and a friend of Lohr’s, volunteered to go along as well.
Part mini-walkathon, part Notre Dame service project,
part fitness plan, the planned march has the modest goal of raising $1,000 for
Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising public
awareness of the wounds – sometimes visible, sometimes not – that soldiers
suffer as a result of military conflict. The project seeks to rehabilitate wounded
service members, assisting them with physical, emotional and financial recovery
and with the transition back to civilian life. It provides a long list of support
services, including family retreats, employment assistance and peer mentoring.
Wounded Warrior also sponsors the Soldier Ride, a
four-day cycling opportunity held at 13 communities across the nation. The
30-mile rides are intended to encourage “rehab through cycling.” Participants
are provided with state-of-the-art adaptive hand cycles, trikes and bicycles to
accommodate their various injuries and disabilities, as well as unmodified road
bikes for riders not requiring adaptive equipment. (Watch
Lohr was familiar with the group from past Notre Dame MBA
military students and alums who had participated in various support activities.
Recent graduate Dan Marques – who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the 101st
Airborne Division as an intelligence officer, platoon leader and executive
officer – rode his bike with two Army buddies more than 3,800 miles across the
country in the summer of 2010. Their effort, dubbed PedalinWithAPurpose,
raised $25,000 for Wounded Warrior.
The Notre Dame MBA program also has a long tradition of
supporting military veterans and their families. The program is a full
participant in the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon programs. It has been named as a
Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs
Magazine for three years running.
For more information or to donate to the Notre Dame MBA
Wounded Warrior Walk, contact Brian Lohr at firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/group-fundraising/ILTW/