On Sunday, hundreds of Nashville runners and supporters ran a two-mile route around Belmont’s campus, accompanying George Chmiel on his epic 60-day Run Across America.
The event landed more than 2,000 miles into a 3,000+ mile journey that began on September 11 in San
Diego, California, and will end on November 11 at Ground Zero in New York City. Chmiel, known as the
BeastMode Runner, represents BeastMode for the Brave, an organization started by the late U.S.
Navy Seal veteran Chris Kyle, aka the “American Sniper.” Kyle started BeastMode to raise
awareness of and for veterans returning home from the battlefield, and partners with the Guardian
For Heroes Foundation.
One local organization – REBOOT Combat Recovery – is the Nashville recipient of funds raised
as a result of the local awareness event. REBOOT Combat Recovery, which was started by Belmont alumni Evan and Jenny Owens, works with hurting military members and their families to heal from the spiritual and moral injuries of war associated with post-traumatic stress and combat trauma. As part of the run, Reboot encouraged attendees to sign Chmiel’s 260,000+ signature petition for the Stop Soldier Suicide-Reverse Boot Camp petition that will be taken to the White House when he runs through Washington, D.C.
“George’s dedication to raising awareness of the traumas associated with war – from physical to
emotional to spiritual to mental – demonstrates a deep conviction,” said Evan Owens, executive
director of Reboot Combat Recovery. “We are honored to be part of this event, but most importantly to
see healing so up close and personal in the lives of the brave men and women who fight for us.”
Nationwide, 22 soldiers die of suicide every day linked to their experience in combat. Countless others
make a series of poor life choices upon returning that lead to deteriorating marriages and family life,
life-threatening health conditions, and the inability to view oneself as a leader.
Through its 12-week proprietary curriculum, which is rooted in both clinical expertise and foundational
Christian values, Reboot sees a 76 percent graduation rate, with 41 percent of its graduates becoming leaders and 85 percent of graduates staying involved with advanced courses and reunions. With more than 1,000 graduates and more than 25 locations across the country, not a single one has died of suicide as a solution to their struggle with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS). Reboot was recently named a Nashville
Next Awards finalist in the area of Social Enterprise & Sustainability/StartUp.
“It’s our hope that George’s journey will awaken the conscience of those who make decisions on our
veterans’ behalf for their care and support when they return, so that they can heal more wholly from
their experience defending our country,” said Bryan Flanery, Ret. U.S. Army.
Sponsors of the Nashville event included Belmont University, Pinnacle Financial Partners and Mark Green for Senate. In a separate event, Nashville will welcome George Chmiel back to the city on October 28 for a concert with the award-winning Christian pop band Newsboys at Belmont University’s Curb Event Center.