Sometimes running a race is about more than just reaching the finish line. Sometimes, the finish line is just the beginning. - U.S. Navy SEALs
YOUNGSTOWN - "Joggin' for Frogmen" is a 5K run/walk race event set for Saturday morning, April 26 at Canfield High School and is an new and exceptional opportunity to personally and publicly share your patriotic pride and to support families of our nation's fallen military heroes who made those sacrifices in protection of our personal freedoms.
Thanks to the sacrifices of others, many Americans go through life today never once being asked to willingly make a personal sacrifice to protect our nation, our freedoms, and our way of life.
Taking part in the upcoming "Joggin' for Frogmen" 5k allows anyone the opportunity to literally "walk that walk" when it comes to expressing support for or thanks to our nation's military personnel and their loved ones, according to organizers.
If you are one of those folks who says "Thank you for your service" to a perfect stranger you see in passing because they are obviously either a veteran or on active military duty in some branch of the U.S. military community, then this upcoming 5K is the latest addition to your "must do this" list. The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Canfield High School, located on Cardinal Drive in Canfield.
The mission of the various "Joggin' for Frogmen" events held nationwide is to bring men, women and children together to jog in honor of our Navy SEALs (AKA: Frogmen) and all military heroes who have sacrificed their lives for us while protecting our country, explained the Canfield-Youngstown event director, Robert Debiec. The event is structured so anyone interested in talking part can do so in person or virtually from anywhere on the globe and can even take up organizers on an invitation to run in boots, such as those routinely worn by our military.
Whether as an individual on hand at the event to participate as a runner or walker, as part of a team, as a sponsor, as a volunteer, as a virtual runner, or as a mix or all of these, according to Mingo Junction businessman and service retired U.S. Navy SEAL Senior Chief Frank Hoagland, it is a routine part of SEAL training evolutions for participants are to keep their boots on - whether in the water or running.
Hoagland has been invited to speak to event participants immediately prior to the start of the race. Hoagland and his wife, Darla, are supporting this inaugural "Joggin' for Frogmen" event in Ohio as a way to raise the awareness of and support for efforts to try to help meet the unique needs of our nation's military families.
It is also a way to help assure those who have sacrificed so much as individuals will never be forgotten, nor the value of their selfless gifts, offered Darla Hoagland.
Hoagland is CEO of a firm he founded after being injured during his 999th parachute training jump and having to step into a service retired status, Special Tactics and Rescue Training (START). Through the resources and efforts of START, he provides leadership to a unique and highly qualified group of experts with similar skill sets to his own.
He began his career with SEAL Team FOUR and then was subsequently tapped for Naval Special Warfare Development Group, the most elite of all Navy SEAL commands. He returned to SEAL Team FOUR in 1994 as a platoon chief where he successfully coordinated and led numerous sensitive counter narcotics missions into Central and South America in support of combined Department of Defense, United States Government law enforcement entities, and allied nation operations.
As Senior Chief in the SEAL Team FOUR Training Department, Hoagland provided leadership to an instructor cadre delivering unconventional warfare training for over 200 SEAL Team Operators. He is considered an expert planner; was a leader of global operations - many of which were focused on counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, and counter narcotics efforts.
His career in clandestine operations has spanned three decades and he continues to maintain this country's highest levels of security clearance and access.
On Aug. 6, 2011, a helicopter carrying 30 members of Navy Special Operation forces and a military dog was downed in Afghanistan. The tragedy further united a community, igniting a renewed passion to help support the family members of fallen heroes. In the wake of the events, the 31Heroes Project was created.
Joggin' for Frogmen has joined with One Team One Fight, an athletic endurance campaign raising funds for two primary partner organizations, the Navy SEAL Foundation and the Travis Manion Foundation. They help support programs assisting the Naval Special Warfare community, families of fallen sailors, soldiers, airmen and Marines and include educational support and scholarships, tragedy assistance, survivor support and empowerment, and challenge grants, shared Darla Hoagland.
Race registration for the 5K is $35 for adult civilians, $30 for adult active duty military, and $15 for the Tadpole Trot (children 10 years old and younger). The Virtual Racer category is for those who can't make the race but want a shirt and medal. The $45 fee includes shipping.
For information about the event or to register, visit JogginforFrogmen.com/Youngstown or email Race Director Robert J. Debiec at YoungstownOH @JogginforFrogmen.com.
Registration will include custom finisher's medals for all participants, chip timing and bibs, and a race T-shirt. Packet pickups will be at Second Sole, 755 Boardman-Canfield Rd., 330-758-8708. Racers can enjoy 20 percent off the entire store when picking up race packets there. Event sponsorships at several levels are still available; for details contact Debiec.