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Greene County Veterans To Participate In 100 Mile March Of Valor This Weekend
Updated November 10, 2016 7:11 AM
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zack and Amanda Verseman.jpg
Zack and Amanda Verseman

(BLOOMFIELD) - Brian Romans, founder and CEO of the non-profit Romans Warrior Foundation, along with other veterans and RWF supporters, plans a 100-mile, three state walk from Clarksville, Tenn., to Evansville this Veterans Day weekend.

Patti Danner of the Greene County Daily World reports that the trek is also a fundraiser for the foundation, which hopes to raise $500,000 by the start of 2017 with which to secure property and begin to provide assistance to veterans, gold star families and first responders.

Based in Greene County, RWF was created in 2016 by Romans, whose motto is "Helping is Healing."

Earlier this year, in June, Romans and his group walked about 100 miles, from Linton to the War Plaza in Indianapolis, as a fundraiser.

The journey is significant in that it will honor and incorporate elements from all four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

"We begin the walk on the Marine Corps' birthday, Nov. 10," said Romans. "From an Army installation (Fort Campbell), the first night we are staying at an Air Force veterans home, and we will end the walk at a Naval Memorial (USS LST Memorial Museum), all taking place over Veterans Day weekend. What better time (than Veterans Day) to gather some fine veterans, gold star families and first responders for a brisk 100-mile adventure spanning three states," Romans said with a smile.

Anyone wishing to assist the Foundation in its goal to procure property on which to build its planned retreat, may do so by pledging per mile, or any amount they would like, via the group's GoFundMe page (www.GoFundMe.com/RWFRetreat), with Paypal at www.paypal.me/RWFoundation or via the US Postal Service with a check or money order c/o Romans Warrior Foundation 313 East Abrams Road, Bloomfield IN 47424.

A full 90 percent of all funds collected by RWF go directly towards helping veterans, gold star families and first responders, in Greene County and throughout the nation.

"People are more than welcome to monitor and follow our progress via Facebook (www.facebook.com/RWFRetreat)," said Romans

Amanda and Zachery Verseman, he being a Specialist E-4, Active Duty in the United States Army, and she being a United States Marine Corps Veteran, were both in North Carolina upon first hearing of the Romans Warrior Foundation.

"My husband (Zack Verseman) had seen videos of the June walk, on a friend's Facebook feed," Verseman said. "At first, the interest was kind of to see if the guy was going to be able to do this crazy idea. By day two or three, Zack was very interested in RWF, and had visited the website (www.romanswarriorfoundation.org) to become educated about what the organization was trying to accomplish," said Verseman.

Upon learning all that they could about the Romans Warrior Foundation, both Versemans were hooked, and equally motivated to do something for RWF themselves.

RWF held a recent fishing tournament, and Romans used Facebook to issue a request for tournament candidates. He asked that people write to him if they knew a veteran, gold star family member or a first responder who would benefit from the experience. RWF requested entrants to write a short piece on the person's background and how the writer felt the nominee would benefit.

Verseman wrote in immediately, sending in her husband's name for submission, and he was selected.

Verseman explained that her husband, while on active duty, was injured on a jump that destroyed his right ankle, through no fault of his own. The injury required extensive reconstructive surgery, and Verseman was told that his military career was over.

"He took this very hard, I believe he felt that his career was taken from him, when his biggest desire was the desire to serve," said Verseman.

Verseman says for many people who wear a uniform, whether military, police, fire or rescue, the loss of identity suffered by those who, like her husband Zack, can be baffling, frightening and very much like the stages of grief suffered by those forced to process the loss of something they hold dear and love fervently.

"I felt this trip would recharge his batteries, give him a chance to be around people who had suffered the same losses, as well as people who had suffered differently," said Verseman. "He needed to know that what he was going through internally was completely normal."

Her husband returned from that trip feeling more complete than he had in a long time.

"I called Brian to thank him," Verseman remembered. "What the RWF is doing is an amazing benefit to those touched by it."

The Foundation, says Verseman, takes the individual or family needing help, and addresses their needs as though dealing with a blood family member or a friend of their own.

"Their worries are our worries, and helping is healing." she said.

After the tournament, both Versemans have become active members of the Romans Warrior Foundation, and as a result, the Tri-State 2016 RWF March of Valor was born.

"Brian was immediately on board, and the idea skyrocketed," said Verseman. "We are bringing all branches of the United States military together for the Veterans Day holiday. We march to celebrate our veterans, first responders and gold star families, we march for those who cannot march with us and we march to heal within ourselves."

For more information about the Romans Warrior Foundation, visit www.romanswarriorfoundation.org, or see them on social media at www.facebook.com/RWFRetreat/. You may also monitor the group's progress while on the March of Valor Nov. 10-13 on this page.

To make a tax-deductible donation to the RWF, visit www.GoFundMe.com/RWFRetreat or www.paypal.me/RWFoundation. You may send a flat fee donation, or pledge per mile.



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