By Bryan Cox, Retired Marine, Warrior, Newtonite
As a 22 year retired Marine, Veterans Day means something different to me than it may mean to someone else. I was a helicopter tail gunner while on active duty and we had a lot of devices to help us along the way like night vision goggles and overhead surveillance. Most of the men and women who fought before us did not have that luxury, as a matter a fact, some only had a six digit grid coordinate. And they fought, bravely and courageously without hesitation. Some where treated with disrespect returning home and some didn’t even make it home. Veterans Day to me is a day to honor those warriors who went before us. I honor them everyday, it was my honor to fight for them and to honor the legacy they have left behind. Honestly I don’t do anything different than any other day. I get a lot of phone calls, texts, emails, and Facebook messages thanking me for my service, which is a nice gesture and I appreciate all of them. For me though, every time I see that older hero walking in the mall or someone with the Vietnam or Korean War Veteran hat on, I will go up and introduce myself and thank them for the legacy they bestowed on me as a warrior.
Joining the Marine Corps was an easier decision for me than most. I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and in the early 90’s, Louisville wasn’t going anywhere. After high school I started working at UPS and met a guy there that was in the Marine Corps. We talked, and the next thing you know I was signing up. It was mainly to get away from Louisville. Now, after two plus decades away, Louisville is a great little city and still growing. Who knows what would’ve happened if I hadn’t left. I got a chance to see the world, both good and bad. I lived in San Diego for close to 20 years and I was introduced to Newton Running. I think I made a wise choice.
Honor, Courage, and Commitment, it’s the trademark of the Marine Corps. I look at it like this, honor those that have fought before you, have the courage to stand up for yourself, others, and what is right, and commit fully to what you’re doing. Sure I learned a million other things from the Corps but those three are pressed in to you from day one that they never leave.
I was stationed in Pensacola, Florida 2005-2008 as the senior enlisted Marine for the Naval Aircrew Candidate School. We trained Marines and Sailors to be physically, medically, aquatically, and mentally prepared to be Naval Aircrewman. I was approached by two other instructors about doing a triathlon and at first I thought, no way, I can’t do all of that. Needless to say I was talked in to doing the Mullet Man Triathlon and like most people the rest has been history!
For 2018 my first goal is to heal from my hamstring tear. As long as that goes smoothly I am signed up for Chattanooga 70.3, two local half marathons and four local triathlons. Pending rehab I am going to do Ohio 70.3 and Haines City 70.3. My fiancé and I are also planning a swim/ run event. Also in 2018 as I have done since 2007, I plan on spreading the word about Newton Running and supporting the brand as much as possible. I see big things on the horizon for the company and I’m super stoked to be apart of it!