Boston’s Wounded Vet Run Sponsorship
The LCpl Matthew R. Rodriguez Memorial Foundation is proud to be a sponsor of Boston’s Wounded Vet Run. Through this sponsorship, we are able to assist Sgt Kirstie Ennis as she recovers from injuries sustained from a combat resupply mission in 2012 to Forward Operating Base in Now Zad, Afghanistan.
Marine Sargeant Kirstie Ennis
Kirstie Ennis joined the Marine Corps at the age of 17, shortly after she graduated Milton High School with her diploma and Pensacola Junior College with her Associates of Arts degree. After graduating boot camp, Marine Combat Training, and her MOS schools, her first duty station was MCAS Miramar, followed by MCAS Kaneohe Bay.
She deployed to Afghanistan with HMH-465, HMH-461, and HMH-362 to Afghanistan. The six years Sgt Ennis was in she performed duties as a helicopter door gunner and airframes mechanic on the CH-53 D/E.
On her last deployment to Afghanistan, her CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter went down on June 23, 2012 while performing a combat resupply mission to Forward Operating Base in Now Zad, Afghanistan. All eight people aboard survived, but the crash left Sgt. Ennis with a shattered jaw, broken leg bones, burns, cervical and lumbar spine damage, traumatic brain injury and a hearing impairment. After a few years of trying to salvage her leg it unfortunately had to be amputated. She has undergone 38 reconstructive surgeries and has been through speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, vestibular therapy, and cognitive therapy over the past three years. She medically retired from the Marine Corps in May 2014.
Now the 24-year-old is scheduled to appear on US Paralympic team.
“Naturally, like all Marines, if you told me no, I can’t do something, I’m going to do it,” Ennis said.
Ennis made this her mission and channeled her drive into competitive sports.
She took three gold medals in swimming for the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment at the 2013 Warrior Games. She has completed triathlons and an Ironman competition. She learned to snowboard and competed in a boardercross competition with Disabled Sports USA.
“At the end of the day, I still wanted to be involved with a part of my military family, to feel like I was contributing to helping protect and serve my military brothers and sisters,” she said.
She has one more surgery to go, and then aims to get back to snowboarding with the U.S. Paralympic Team, with which she’s currently ranked fifth internationally in women’s boardercross, a competitive team snowboard sport..
“That’s the main goal: 2018 South Korea,” she said.
Boston’s Wounded Vet Run
Every year, Boston’s Wounded Vet Run will be dedicated to different veterans. All proceeds raised go towards housing modifications to suite a comfortable living for the disabled veteran. Besides housing modifications, funds are also used to improve the quality of life of disabled veterans. Recreational needs, cars, and basic living needs are also other fields of charity the ride is dedicated to.
Boston’s Wounded Vet Run is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity (47-1461072). Money raised in the name of this organization benefit selected wounded veterans and charities of their choosing. All volunteers work free and there are no paid staff. They fought, and we ride, a bike run honoring the wounded veterans of New England.