One of the Travis Mills Foundation team’s favorite aspects of the Miles for Mills Memorial Day 5K is the stories of runners, walkers and handcyclists about why they run this particular race. For many, its personal.
For Patrick Kerr, 12, of Raymond, ME, the Miles for Mills Memorial Day Weekend 5K will be his first official race.
He’s hoping that participating in this benefit for the Travis Mills Foundation will help spread the mission of the organization to support post-911 veterans who experienced life-changing injuries while serving our country, and their families.
“I feel like it’s an important cause,” he said. “[U.S. Army SSG (Ret.)] Travis Mills lost all of his limbs in war; a lot of other people suffered, also losing limbs,” Patrick said. “If I support and care about this cause, I hope others will follow.”
The Jordan Small Middle School student participates in cross country, karate, basketball and loves other outdoor sports such as snowboarding; His mother, Charissa Kerr, is a firefighter with the Windham and Raymond Fire Departments and ran last year’s race in full gear.
“It’s really cool how she cares so much that she decided to run for fallen firefighters and soldiers,” Patrick said, adding that he admires how she stops at each memorial sign for the Maine fallen after Sept. 11, 2001, that are posted along the Miles for Mills race route.
“She stops and salutes them all,” he added.
Charissa participates in a number of events throughout New England to honor servicemembers and emergency personnel, especially good friend, David Mains, who passed away in a motorcycle accident in 2018.
“We run in his honor and memory,” added Charissa. As for Patrick, she’s amazed daily by his big heart.
“He cares so much about everything – it’s incredible.” Describing Patrick as fast and competitive, Charissa doesn’t doubt that he’ll beat her to the finish line on Sunday. “Either way, there will be big hugs,” she said, smiling.
About the Travis Mills Foundation
The Travis Mills Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports post-9/11 veterans who experienced life-changing injuries while in service to our country. The Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat offers our nation’s recalibrated veterans and their families a week-long, barrier-free, all-expenses-paid experience at its world-class retreat in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine. It offers various programs that help these brave men and women overcome physical and emotional obstacles, strengthen their families, and provide well-deserved rest and relaxation. The Foundation also offers the Warrior PATHH Program (Progressive & Alternative Training for Helping Heroes) for post-911 combat veterans and first responders, the nation’s first of its kind program designed to cultivate and facilitate Post-Traumatic Growth. Learn more >>>