Running the good race
AT DAWN on September 1, young veteran Wayne McMurtrie stepped off from Anzac Square in Brisbane to run 1500km to Winton to raise awareness to assist veterans recovering from trauma.
Passing through Emerald last Thursday during his Run for Resilience, MrMcMurtrie stopped for a brief moment to talk to CQ News about his story of resilience and coming home.
"Run for Resilience is a veteran's story of finding resilience on the journey home from war,” he said.
"In my case, running was the way I managed to overcome my mental health struggles.
"It helped me to process thoughts, feelings and emotions related to my service.
"I started running because at the time I felt if I couldn't stand to be around myself, others shouldn't have to either, so I started running long distance.
"What I found was that it was very therapeutic. It was a way for me to manage my wellness.”
Mr McMurtrie, who is scheduled to arrive in Winton tomorrow, conceived the idea of Run for Resilience two months ago as a way to raise funds and awareness to assist veterans and first responders to recover from trauma experienced during service, helping them to reintegrate back into life at home.
"The overall goal for Run for Resilience is to raise awareness of the services and accessibility of ex-service organisations, courses, training and programs,” he said.
"It doesn't matter where you are, you could be anywhere in regional Australia, there will always be some sort of ex-service organisation that's within relatively easy reach.
"Some people don't know about these services and that's the sad thing.
"We are trying to get across to people that these services are out there.
"One of the big things is to give people back a sense of purpose and reintroduce them back into the community.
"What I hope to achieve through Run for Resilience is to create awareness and help people find community and purpose.”
Mr McMurtrie, who served for 17years in the regular army and army reserves, thought he wasn't entitled to access services to help recover from his military experience.
"I am just trying to help show everyone it doesn't matter what you have done service-wise, you are entitled to quite a lot and you have earned it just by signing the enlistment paperwork,” he said.
Mr McMurtrie and Run for Resilience have partnered with PTSD Resurrected and EDIT (Ex-Defence Integration Team) and hope to raise at least $20,000 for the cause.
To help give support to our first responders and veterans coming home from war, donate today at ptsdresurrected.org.