West Point Cadet Runs 24 Hours for Wounded Vets

Sunday, March 22nd 2009, 12:03 am
By: News 9

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

YUKON, Oklahoma -- West Pointe Cadet and Yukon High graduate David Swanson, set out for his spring break to run for 24 hours to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project and at 5 p.m. Saturday he accomplished his goal.

One constant thought running through the mind and legs of Army cadet Swanson was his fellow brothers.

"There is a loneness associated with being a distance runner," Swanson said. "I do think and pray about the soldiers over there."

Swanson said praying helped get him across the finish line and helped get him through the toughest parts of the run.

"I went to hell twice and purgatory once," Swanson joked. "I had two really, really lows and one pretty, pretty low."

While Swanson was giving his blood, sweat and tears on the racetrack for soldiers who have suffered injuries Iraq and Afghanistan, the family of U.S. Army Corporal Gary Lee Moore, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, were shedding their own tears as his flag draped casket returned home.

It was one more reason Cadet Swanson, who may not have had the chance to put his boots on the battlefield, puts his running shoes on the pavement.

"I wanted the soldiers to know, to have a tangible way that David Swanson cares that future 2nd Lieutenant Swanson he cares about them," Swanson said.

Swanson plays to do the 24-hour run again sometime in the future.

"Where ever I go throughout the Army, I will find a track," Swanson said. "We'll do this all over again."

When Cadet Swanson set up to raise money for the Wounded Warriors project, his goal was 10,000. Early estimates show he shattered that raising over $23,000 for the Wounded Warriors Project.