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Teen runs 50-miles in support of veterans

Words by Smiley Team

Michael Fererra, a resident of New Jersey, has set out to walk 50 miles to collect money for the city's homeless veterans.

Pistol Creek Ultra-Marathon is on the agenda for Michael, and he hopes to raise money and public awareness for the nation's fallen heroes whose homes have been destroyed.

Michael has endured four months of training in the frigid northeastern climate of his birthplace, and he's also had to contend with dodging chunks of black ice and the numbing cold that flows through his extremities.

In an interview with Fox News, Michael said: "Breathing in the frigid air has given me worry, but remaining calm and remembering why I am doing this keeps me going."

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After meeting the CEO of VetREST, Lieutenant Colonel Robert F. Vicci, who retired from the military after 34 years of service, the high school student began planning for the ultra-marathon.

As stated on its website, VetREST aims to "mentor veterans while offering agricultural opportunity in safe and supportive surroundings where they can attain wellness themselves and produce healthy food for our nation". 

After arriving at the starting point, Michael says he plans to run until he reaches 50 miles on his watch.

“I really do want to help the veterans of our country,” he said. “They have put their blood, sweat and tears into fighting for our freedoms and for them to end up on the streets I think is totally unacceptable.” 

Michael plans to join the military after graduation in the hopes of one day being a national hero. Until then, he is content to devote his talents to groups that provide assistance to heroes who are making a comeback.

"We will help a veteran or a veteran and their family with either assisting in the construction of new housing in cooperation with another charity or we will utilize the cash to help numerous veterans who are suffering from the affects of PTSD," stated VetREST CEO Vicci in response to Michael's request.

VetREST aids veterans in determining the root cause of their post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). There are many things that may be done to assist those in need, but "if we can put the money in locations that will help them through their predicament, we find that is the best medicine".

Inspired to act?

DONATE: You can donate to VetREST to help support their mission. 

EDUCATE: Find out more about how the charity supports veterans.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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