NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Carolyn Petschler served our country as a crew member on a U.S. Navy aircraft. She is grateful to have finished her tour without injuries but now feels that her duty is to give back to the veterans who aren't as lucky.
"All of us who were used to serving, we get to give back again and do something that's not about you, it's about a bigger cause," Petschler said.
She and former Army Capt. Sarah Travaglio will soon be trekking across New York City in an all-day relay. The race, which starts and ends at the Intrepid Museum, benefits the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a nonprofit that supports the construction of traumatic brain injury treatment and research centers on military bases across the country.
"I think anything that reminds me of my service and the members that hadn't been as fortunate as I was in making it out without traumatic brain injuries or any other types of injury," Travaglio said. "It just reminds me that I was so fortunate with the assignments I had and so thankful for all the service everyone contributed to."
About 80 participants, both veterans and civilians, are participating in a dozen teams.
"The main goal for this race is to educate the American public about traumatic brain injury and how it's impacting our men and women in the armed forces," said David Winters, the president of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. "Hundreds of thousands of military personnel suffer from some degree of traumatic brain injury."
Petschler is doing her part in her team's relay as well as running as a guide for her best friend Leslie, who lost her vision and left leg while serving in the Army.
"Leslie and I will be walking a bit, running a little bit as well, but we'll see how the day goes," Petschler said. "But it's not a matter of winning it for our team, it's a matter of completion and it's bringing us together and getting the camaraderie back between these fantastic women veterans."
The relay race is Saturday, September 8, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can find more information at the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund race website. The organization expects to raise close to $150,000 this year.