In August 2020, I was on an 2 week trip to Italy that started in Tuscany and finished on the Amalfi coast. It was full of incredible views, food, wine and the company of my wife. As perfect as this was, I couldn’t find myself being truly happy, there seemed to be something missing. I kept asking myself why? After days of trying to figure out why I was feeling this way, I decided to take a kayak out at 7am by myself and do some soul searching. After about an hour of paddling off the coast of Positano, I found a cave tucked away and decided to stop to relax and reflect on my life.
In this cave, I realized why I was not able to just relax and enjoy this beautiful life I am living. I miss the Marine Corps. As much as I don’t miss being in, I miss being around the guys. I miss the constant competitiveness in the Recon Community. I miss the brotherhood.
In hopes of filling this gap, even just a little, I decided I was going to try and do something I’ve never done before. Something that made me physically and mentally push myself. As soon as I got back to my hotel, I began searching adventure races and came up on the 300 mile Source to City race in NY. Within 24 hours I signed up and committed to my new goal.
For those who do not know my story, I am a former Reconnaissance Marine. I was able to have the distinct honor to serve my country in Afghanistan in 2011. As well as, deploying along side some of the finest men and women in this country. I now reside in New York City with my wife and dog. This new challenge gives me the opportunity to push myself mentally and physically, for something that is near and dear to my heart, the Veteran community.
My motivation for this challenge and fundraiser is to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Ultimately, carrying on their stories. For this race, I will be specifically honoring Sgt. Daniel Gurr, who died while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan. I had the privilege and honor to serve alongside Sgt. Daniel Gurr in Afghanistan. As a result, I will be wearing his name throughout the race. In honor of him and other Veterans that have made the ultimate sacrifice I am fundraising for Recon Sniper Foundation to help make a positive impact on Veterans and their families. RSF helps Veterans & specifically Reconnaissance Marines with emergency family assistance, preventative mental health care and building successful lives after a honorable military service.
Never above you.
Never below you.
Always besides you.
By: Ryan O’Hara
New York, NY