In exactly 10 days, on Oct. 8, Br. John Eustice, CSV, will run his fifth marathon, when he lines up at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. But even before he takes his place at the start line, Br. John will gather with his teammates in prayer.
For the fourth year, Br. John is serving as chaplain for Team SALUTE, a suburban nonprofit that provides everyday essentials to injured veterans and military families. Br. John follows in the footsteps of Fr. Dan Hall, who ran 50 marathons after reaching the age of 50, and served as chaplain for Team SALUTE.
“Our charity runners achieve their goal of running a marathon while playing a key role in helping us serve military families,” says SALUTE, INC Executive Director Mary Beth Beiersdorf. “They not only help us provide veterans with funds for things like groceries, rent, and car payments, but they help us spread a powerful message of hope and compassion.”
Br. John says it is an honor to run with the 140 team members raising money for SALUTE, and to be able to support a charity that cares so deeply for the veterans and their families. He personally knows many veterans who have needed extra help after their service.
“Each time I run in my training, I call to mind either specific injured veterans, or those who are suffering from PTSD or physical injuries,” Br. John says. “When I feel like I don’t want to push forward in training, the vets come to mind.”
Most days, Br. John completes his training runs in the early morning, when he likes to immerse himself in the beauty of God’s creation. The rest of the day, he serves as a transitional deacon at Maternity BVM Parish in Bourbonnais, as he continues his path toward ordination.
“My goal for Oct 8 is to finish upright, alive and before dark,” Br. John says. “I look forward to leading Team SALUTE in prayer and continuing to raise awareness and funds for those who have offered their service.”