David Roldan, a retired sergeant major, said he first heard of Team Red, White and Blue after permanently changing station to Fort Bragg from Fort Bliss, Texas in 2014. Co-workers, who were members at the time, invited him to attend the monthly 5K run hosted by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
Team RWB, an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity, participates in each FMWR run at Fort Bragg, said Debbie Hendrix, community outreach, Team RWB Fort Bragg.
“I enjoy the fact that the members are both current and retired military as well as civilians,” Roldan said.
The team has no membership dues and is open to everyone, not just veterans.
“Anybody can join,” Hendrix said. “You don’t have to be in the military.”
There are more than 1,400 members in the Fort Bragg chapter of Team RWB.
A non-profit organization, Team RWB was founded in 2010 by Mike Erwin, a combat veteran and former Fort Bragg Soldier. According to its website, the organization boasts more than 108,000 members, made up of veterans, Family members and American citizens in over 187 communities across the globe.
Locally, Team RWB Fort Bragg provides outreach support to organizations such as Operation Homefront, Wreaths across America and Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery.
Members have fed the homeless, volunteered at a local food bank, cleaned debris after a storm and picked up trash along the highway, said Roldan.
The Team RWB Pasta Dinner, an annual outreach event, will take place March 25, 6 p.m., at the Holiday Inn (1944 Cedar Creek Drive, Fayetteville), one day before this year’s All American Marathon. Cost will be $15.95 per person.
The organization’s outreach activities tie into Team RWBs eagle ethos, which focuses on passion, people, positivity, commitment, camaraderie and community.
For Hendrix, being a Team RWB Fort Bragg member has allowed her to encourage other runners on their journey.
“I like helping them out, getting them over that finish line and telling them ‘they know they can do it,’” she said.
It also allows Hendrix to sharpen her resiliency skills.
“It’s my ‘me’ time, my time to decompress and think about things.”
For Roldan, membership provides the opportunity for solidarity.
“I like being a member because of the support we give each other. We are not fast but, we do finish and we help and support each other out,” said Roldan, who averages about 25 to 30 miles a week and plans to run this year’s half marathon.
Ultimately, Hendrix wants other runners to join Team RWB Fort Bragg.
“We’re a great group of people,” she said.
For Fort Bragg membership information, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TeamRwbFtBragg/ or visit the Team RWB website at www.teamrwb.org.