A former Marine and Rehoboth Beach local has spent the past year on a cross-country run to help raise awareness for his fellow veterans.
Local news publication The Daily Times reports that Brendan O'Toole, a 24-year-old retired U.S. Marine Corps sergeant, is nearing the end of what will be a year-long journey, spanning 3,600 miles and 21 states. O'Toole began the endurance challenge last year, starting on Veterans Day in Oceanside, California, and plans to bring the trip full circle by ending on this year's Veterans Day in Portland, Maine.
From 2008 to 2012, O'Toole had served in the Marine Corps, with deployments in Haiti, Djibouti and ultimately the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. After returning home from his tours, O'Toole recognized that he and many other veterans struggled with a range of issues, including health concerns, problems finding new jobs and general difficulty in reentering society. More than that, O'Toole did not find very much support for himself or his fellow Marines.
O'Toole has spent the last year running between 12 and 15 miles every day, in order to raise both awareness and funds for veteran support. To date, he has already raised $160,000 for the USO, Team Red White & Blue and Give an Hour, all three of which are nonprofit groups dedicated to supporting veterans and their families.
"The majority of veterans right now are not OK," O'Toole told the source. "[But] I think if we can get national attention, I don't think a million or two [million dollars] is out of reach. The sky's the limit."
Individuals interested in becoming a part of a community that fosters dedicated and supportive servicemen like Sergeant O'Toole are encouraged to contact a local Rehoboth Beach realtor about available real estate in Rehoboth Beach today.