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Wounded Warrior 5K run and walk set for Nov. 8

Date: 10/30/2014

LONGMEADOW – The second annual Wounded Warriors 5K run and walk is set to take place Nov. 8 at Greenwood Park.

Last year, more than $11,000 in donations were raised and about 700 people participated in the race. This year, the run could see more than 1,000 participants.

The event is sponsored by the Department of Veterans' Services and aims to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members who were wounded during their military service after Sept. 11, 2001, Director of Veterans’ Services Paul Seifert said.

“The Wounded Warrior Project is an organization that takes a holistic approach when serving warriors and their families to nurture the mind and body,” he explained.

Seifert said there are a large number of modern veterans in Longmeadow.

There are more than 1,000 veterans in total throughout the town who have served in the military during both past wars and modern wars.

In general, Seifert said he has seen a large number of veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

“[PTSD] is a very unfortunate circumstance,” he added. “That’s what war does unfortunately and it’s our job and duty to try and make them whole.”

Seifert said the Department of Veterans Affairs has increasingly improved its services to veterans during past decades but projects such as Wounded Warrior ensure that there is even more help for veterans in need.

“We are a leader in the country to this day with helping our veterans who are in need, whether it be financial or medical,” he said. “When we get people that have moved [to Massachusetts] from other [states] and they don’t even know sometimes that Chapter 115 [Commonwealth] benefits exist.

“And where they come from, there was no such thing and they can’t believe it,” he continued. “Sometimes it saves the day for them.”

The race will start and finish at the Greenwood Center, 231 Maple Road, beginning at 11 a.m.

Registration will take place Nov. 7 from 12 to 8 p.m. at the Longmeadow Adult Center and during the day of the event from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

“Prior to the race, there will be a short Veterans Day ceremony at Greenwood Park,” Seifert added. “The ceremony will start at 10 a.m. Paul Barabani, superintendent of the Holyoke Soldier’s Home and [a] retired U.S. Army National Guard Colonel will be our distinguished guest speaker.”

Last year, guest speakers included state Sen. Gale Candaras, state Rep. Brian Ashe, and state Rep. Hank Naughton, according to a letter from Town Manager Stephen Crane to the Select Board.

There will be an after party, which will include a barbecue, raffles, vendors, and music.

Registration is $25 until Oct. 31 and $35 Nov. 1 to 8.

Anyone interested in registering for the race can visit or contact Seifert by phone at 565-4150 or by email at

Every participant who registers prior to Oct. 31 is guaranteed to receive a free Longmeadow’s Warriors 5K T-shirt.