...“The whole point of Team Red White and Blue is for veterans to connect with other veterans and community members through physical activity and social events,” said Ashley Elwell, 27, of Rochester, who founded the Rochester group of Team RWB in December 2012.
Team RWB Rochester is one of about 55 chapters nationally. The national nonprofit organization was founded in 2010 by Syracuse native Mike Erwin, who is a major in the US Army and teaches psychology and leadership at the US Military Academy at West Point.
Elwell is a family friend of Erwin’s and was inspired by him to bring the organization to Rochester while she was training for her first marathon.
The group, which has no membership fees or commitment, currently has thirty to forty active members of whom a little more than half are veterans.
They meet every Wednesday night, year round, for group runs at Cobbs Hill Park and also have a monthly social, like rock climbing, Crossfit, a pizza party, or a race.
Anytime the group meets, they wear red t-shirts with the team RWB logo and symbol: an eagle.
“To me the benefit of the organization is in its simplicity,” said Keefe, who is attending Syracuse University law school to prepare for a career as a judge advocate with the Marines. “The model is to provide support for veterans through physical activity.”