West Point Cadet Runs to Honor Wounded Soldiers

Tuesday, March 17th 2009, 3:38 pm
By: News 9

By Doug Warner, NEWS 9

YUKON, Oklahoma -- How did you spend your last 24 hours? A Yukon man will spend 24 hours running, but why?

Other than a little sleep West Point Cadet David Swanson doesn't need much, just your support and a donation as he pledges to help our wounded soldiers.

He says he'll do all the work and he'll stay up all night if he has to.

Young David Swanson has always loved running. A few years back he ran in the cold and rain on behalf of Special Olympics.

And David has always loved his country.

"Truth be told, as the story goes, I saw Mel Gibson's 'The Patriot'," Swanson said.

Watching a movie about America's original fight for freedom hooked 13-year-old Swanson for life. And now, this weekend, the 3rd year West Point cadet will spend 24 hours straight doing what he does best.

"How I can combine my passion for running and my love for soldiers," Swanson said.

So starting Friday night at 5 p.m. Cadet Swanson will hit the track running to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project; a charity organization designed to honor, empower and assist wounded soldiers, physically and emotionally.

"I just wanted to do this project, this run, and everything involved with it, to let soldiers know that I care," Swanson said.

And just like the soldiers fighting abroad Cadet Swanson needs some grass root support.

Roy Page was one of the first to donate money to Swanson's 24 Hour Brigade Run.

"The Wounded Warrior Project, I have a father who was wounded in battle; I thought this is something that I can support," Roy Page said.

Frederick Clifton Page was shot during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.

"The wound was much more than a gunshot wound, it was emotional wound, even at the age of 50, 60, 70 and now 80s he's still dealing with that wound," Frederick Page's son, Roy Page, said.

Swanson says he'll handle the sleep deprivation and the real running if you'll just join him for a lap and drop a few dollars in the bucket, for our country's wounded warriors.

"West Point is a gut check, 24 hour run will be a gut check," Swanson said. "My life is full of gut checks."

Friday night at 5 p.m. all night until Saturday night at 5 p.m. go out and cheer him on at the Yukon High School track.

Swanson has completed a 100 mile run before as he did 10 laps around Lake Hefner. This run will be about 130 miles.

If you can't make it out there Friday or Saturday it's easy to donate. Log onto http://24hourbrigade.com/ for more information.