Never Quit Challenge: 1,600 Mile Endurance Adventure to Benefit Boot Campaign
1,600 miles… on a Jet Ski… during storm season… that’s exactly what 30 people are getting ready to accomplish from September 6-11th, 2013 as the ride from Key West, FL to New York City. The Boot Campaign is honored to play a small part in making this experience possible by sponsoring five Hero participants (read bio’s below).
The mission of the Never Quit Challenge is a land and nautical centered fundraising event supporting American Veterans and their families with community participation that benefits select notable Charities.
The Never Quit Challenge is vetted by active duty military personnel; special operations warriors and wounded warriors who will operate Kawasaki Ultra LX JET SKI® through a grueling six day passage.
The Never Quit Challenge is based both on land and water moving a team of 30 members with boats, and equipment safely across the USA. These veterans will be on 6 select Teams commemorating KIA (Killed In Action) special operations warriors with each team hosting boat dedications in their honor.
Their NQC journey covers 1,600 miles of open ocean waters commencing on September 6th, 2013 in Key West Florida, with several overnight checkpoints and various fuel stations en route to New York City, NY. The NQC Teams arrive in NYC on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks against American on September 11, 2013.
The Never Quit Challenge raises awareness of these select charities raising funds and promoting outreach regarding Veterans causes that in turn are passed back to their own communities.
Our founding charities are Boot Campaign, Phoenix Patriot Foundation and The Station Foundation.
Fundraising Page: http://CrowdRise.com/NeverQuitChallenge
NQC MEMORIAL BOAT DEDICATIONS – TEAMS
Never Quit Challenge teams Kawasaki Ultra LX JET SKI®’s are dedicated in honor of KIA of our nation’s special operations communities. This is a moving memorial tribute that incorporates personal belongings, mementos and a flag display in honor of our fallen.
- Extortion 17-Team Spartan
- Turbine 33-Team Havoc
- S01 Pat Feeks-Team Guardian
- S02 Dave Warsen-Team Xtreme Abilities
- Dealer 54-K38
- OZZI 72-Team Viking
- Supporting: CG 1705 – Vengeance 38 Team Viking
U.S. MILITARY VETERAN RIDERS SUPPORTED BY BOOT CAMPAIGN
JEFF GLASSER: TEAM XTREME ABILITIES
Jeff joined the Army Infantry in August 2005. During service, Jeff was in a motorcycle accident while home for Christmas Exodus which left him paralyzed from abs down. Jeff spent 5 months in the Tampa V.A. doing physical therapy, and 1 year in Atlanta as a contract between the V.A. and private hospital Shepherds Center. He’s done numerous hand cycle events raising money for other disabled veterans. After spending years in therapy and occasionally having fun and living life, he settled down and got married. Jeff now has a 19-month old little girl who is his entire life. Jeff owns the website www.InkFreakz.com that helps find tattoo shops, artists, models and photographers. Ink Freakz did a ‘Support the Troops’ video to get a disabled/injured veteran a free tattoo that tells a story of their time in the military, as well as interview with their artist and the veteran. XtremeAbilities began as a clothing brand to raise money, and their goal is to become a non-profit taking disabled people (vet, or civilian) to do “Xtreme” events such as obstacle courses, skydiving, scuba diving, jetskiing, or anything to get the blood pumping! Jeff recently started college for his Bachelors in Web Design and Interactive Media. Jeff’s motivation in life is to motivate others, to help show that there is a life after injury, and most importantly to take care of his battle buddies who have been hurt at war. He says that it is his way of doing his part since he never made it to combat.
ANTHONY RADETIC: TEAM XTREME ABILITIES
Anthony is operating his personal watercraft a Bombardier Sea Doo RXP. Anthony is an aggressive rider, waiting for storm conditions to get his game checked. As for Ant’s Military Experience: he initially entered the military as a parachute rigger (92R) and fast-tracked to the rank of E5. Shortly after, Anthony was selected to be a Green Beret and picked to become a Special Forces communication sergeant (18E) and assigned to SOCOM (Special Operations Command). During this time in SOCOM the Army began a new program, Army Laser Surgery Program, allowing soldiers that have had photorefractive keratotomy (PRK) eye surgery partake in a special test program to attend the Army flight school. Anthony was selected for the program and was stationed in Ft. Rucker. While at Ft. Rucker he was promoted to WO1, completed the Army helicopter flight training and became an Army aviator (153A).
In 2004, Anthony was injured in Ft. Rucker and broke his spine at the T7 and T8 level paraplegic. After the injury, Anthony lost ambition to do many of the things he previously loved; often he stayed indoors and didn’t feel comfortable going outside. Once introduced to boating, he has discovered a way to challenge and push himself the way he did during his service. Water sports gives him a sense of peace and a way to escape the reality of being injured.
ROBERTO CRUZ: TEAM XTREME ABILITIES
Roberto was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. His father is a Vietnam veteran, and growing up Roberto always wanted to be like him. After graduating High School he enrolled in college at the University of Puerto Rico in Utuado, but after a few years realized that it was not for him. What he really wanted to do was join the military, so on June 9, 2003 he enlisted in the Army as an Infantry man, just like his father had been. After graduating from basic training in Ft. Benning, Georgia, he went to airborne school and upon graduation received orders to be stationed in Ft. Stewart, Georgia and was with Alpha Company 2-7 Infantry of 3rd Infantry Division. Roberto arrived in Ft. Stewart in March of 2004 and was sent to do all the training required to be deployed the following year. In January of 2005 he was deployed to Tikrit, Iraq. Roberto was in Forward Operation Base Danger; where his unit completed many combat missions from raids, patrolling, and force protection. We were the main combat element in Tikrit.On August 14, 2005 while on guard duty on a watch tower, Roberto was shot by a sniper.The shot came unexpectedly and before he knew it he was on the floor. Roberto reports that he heard a loud explosion and thought he had been hit by an RPG, but his team leader did not know what had happened until he saw blood coming out of Roberto’s left arm.His team leader realized Roberto had been shot, and began to take action to help. Roberto remembers that his team leader told him about the shot, but Roberto told his leader not to lie to him because he could not feel his legs; he still believed he had been hit by an RPG. Roberto asked if the bullet had come out, and his team leader searched for an exit wound, but did not find one. He called the medic, Roberto was medevaced from Tikrit.The last Roberto remembers was being put in a Blackhawk helicopter and feeling that he could not breathe. Roberto was taken to Ballad and once stabilized, sent to Landstuhl, Germany.The bullet had ricocheted through this body and lodged in his spinal cord. While in Landstuhl they were able to take the bullet out and Roberto was transported to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Roberto had been in a coma since being put in the Blackhawk in Tikrit, and woke up two or three days after being at Walter Reed, dazed and confused from all the medications and everything that had happened. He remembered being shot, was told he was back in the U.S. and that he would never walk again. But Roberto had faith that he would prove everyone wrong. Roberto went to physical therapy, which was not easy, but he soon started to take steps with a walking cane, eventually working toward walking on his own.The artery in his left arm was damaged by the bullet leaving nerve damage in his arm and fingers. He is unable to use his left arm, but has adapted.
BO REICHENBACH: SUPPORTED, IN PART, BY BOOT CAMPAIGN
24-year-old SO2 SEAL Bo Reichenbach, was critically injured by an improvised explosive device on July 17, 2012 while serving our country in Afghanistan. Bo was awarded the Purple Heart just two days after arriving back to the United States. He has undergone over 20 medical procedures since then, and continues to conquer his path of recover each and every day.Bo hails from Billings, Montana where he grew up as an avid ice hockey player. When he was 15 years old he left home to pursue his dream of being an NHL goaltender, and went to play Junior Hockey in Canada for the Thunder Bay Wolverines. Four years later, in March of 2008, he decided to serve our country and enlisted in the Navy. That same year he became the father of a baby boy, Landon. In May of 2010 he graduated as a Navy SEAL and was entrusted with some of the most dangerous missions in the military. Bo’s unit was deployed to Afghanistan on January 3, 2012.
When Bo returned to U.S. soil after his injury in July, his parents Don and Crystal and his younger brother Ty (all Billings natives) were by his side. Bo’s father will relocate to Bethesda for the next year, as Bo undergoes extensive rehabilitation in Maryland. Bo’s mom says the Navy SEAL community has embraced her son and their family.
Don Reichenbach tells us Bo has a long road ahead of him, but he’s going to land on top. He told his father, “I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. God has me on a new path and I’m excited for this new adventure.”
ROB EASLEY: SUPPORTED, IN PART, BY BOOT CAMPAIGN
On October 15th, 2012 United States Army Sergeant Robert Easley, Jr. was critically injured while conducting operations in southern Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). While out on foot patrol, Rob stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and lost both of his legs making him a bilateral above knee amputee. He also sustained injuries to his right hand including partial amputation of his pointer, middle, and index fingers.
After four long days of travel and multiple operations, Rob returned stateside to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, MD. Upon his arrival, his wife Megan joined him and together they are enduring this incredible journey down Rob’s road to recovery.
SGT Easley completed Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Benning, GA. Upon completion of his training, Rob was assigned to 1-87 10th Mountain Infantry BN, based out of Fort Drum, NY. In September 2007, he deployed with this unit to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). During this 14 month deployment, his mission was to combat terrorism and assist locals by distributing humanitarian aid.
Starting in July 2009, SGT Easley began his transition from an infantry soldier to an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician. He attended the Naval School of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (NAVSCOLEOD) out of Eglin AFB in Fort Walton Beach, FL. Rob completed his courses and graduated in June 2010.
Upon completion of his training, SGT Easley was assigned to 787th EOD, 3rd Explosive Ordnance BN out of Joint Base Lewis McCord in Tacoma, WA. In January 2012, he deployed with this unit to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). His mission was to support the 1-23 infantry in disrupting and defeating the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.
On October 15th 2012, in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, he received injuries sustained from an IED blast. Rob was immediately transported to Kandahar Air Field. He was then flown to Bagram, Afghanistan, then later to Landshtul, Germany, and finally on 19 October 2012 he arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.