November 12, 2013
By Joe Maniscalco
New York, NY – Organized labor on Long Island helped to make this weekend’s 6th Annual Run For The Warriors 5K/10K the most successful event to date. Watch Video
About 3,000 runners and walkers took part in Sunday’s extravaganza which raised over $200,000 for the Hope For Warriors project.
“Hope For The Warriors is an organization that assists wounded service members and the families of the fallen in many different ways,” said Jack Caffey, Jr., race director and director of RWDSU Local 338. “And today is one of the ways we welcome home – and actually have the community thank the service members, and our military in general.”
The walk/run, kicking off in front of Town Hall, was dedicated to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their continuing struggles to overcome devastating injuries.
“We have so many young men out there on the battlefield right now who really deserve the support from the hometown folks,” Councilman Thomas Donnelly told LaborPress.
Hope for Warriors and The Wounded Warrior Project are both national programs benefitting veterans all across the United States. Locally, the Town of Babylon also sponsors a series of supportive initiatives including a PTSD program for returning veterans still coping with the horrors of war. According to Councilman Donnelly, town officials also endeavor ing to offer area-based companies with incentives to hire returning veterans.
This is the second year that Teamsters Local 707, the 2,500-member union representing truckers and warehouse workers on Long Island, as well as Nassau County OTB workers, has helped sponsor the Run For The Warriors 5K/10K.
“The Teamsters are associated with a lot of veterans,” said Kevin McCaffrey, president of Teamsters Local 707. “We have special hiring practices for them. If anyone is interested in becoming a truck driver at CDL, please call Teamsters Local 707, and we’ll find a spot for you somewhere.”
John Durso, president of RWDSU, Local 338 and the Long Island Federation of Labor, said that many returning veterans are little more than teenagers.
“They’ve really made some great sacrifices,” Durso said. “We’re really proud and there are hundreds upon hundreds of union people here today running, supporting and lending a hand.”