Jacksonville Beach, FL – (December 9, 2020) This Veterans Day, GORUCK and the Navy SEAL Foundation (NSF), an official GORUCK partner, joined forces with Gold Star spouse Sara Wilkinson to raise awareness for suicide prevention by honoring the life and legacy of Navy SEAL Chad Wilkinson. On October 29, 2018, Chad took his life due to the effects of numerous deployments, several TBIs, blast wave injuries and PTSD.
The virtual fundraiser was promoted on GORUCK’s website and social media platforms using #CHAD1000X. Over 4500 people from all over the world participated by ordering Chad1000x patches and t-shirts and completing a hero workout in solidarity with Chad and others lost to suicide. By the end, a total of $104,125 was raised and donated to brain and mental health programs funded by the Navy SEAL Foundation.
The hero workout “Chad” consists of 1,000 step-ups with a weighted rucksack. At his funeral, Chad’s wife mentioned that he did 1,000 step ups for time with a 45 pound pack on a 20” box to train for climbing Mt. Aconcagua. Shortly thereafter, Dave Castro, a former Navy SEAL and Director of the CrossFit Games, completed this workout with others within the Veteran and CrossFit communities to celebrate Chad’s life and honor his memory.
“While it’s not super technical as compared to other Hero WODs, the volume itself is a lot,” said Sara Wilkinson, Gold Star Spouse and L4 CrossFit Seminar staff. “When people think of Hero WODs, they automatically want to do the entire thing at once or they feel it’s not honoring the hero. With the Chad1000x, I think it’s the opposite. You do a little at a time and each time, you can think about their name, how they died, and the family they left behind. You’re doing them justice a little bit at a time over a period of time.”
The Veterans Day "Chad" Hero WOD goes beyond the Veteran, CrossFit, and GORUCK communities — it is for everyone. Chad was the oldest of four siblings and a born overachiever. He was good at everything, but couldn’t reach out for help even to those of us who would do anything for him.
Robin King is the Chief Executive Officer of the Navy SEAL Foundation. During her tenure, she has worked with dozens of organizations committed to supporting the NSF’s mission to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and their families. “Through our partnership with GORUCK, we have been able to reach a community of people not afraid to step up to new challenges in honor of those whose legacy we work to protect, like Chad Wilkinson,” said King. “It has been a privilege to see the reach this fundraising program has achieved and we look forward to next year being even bigger.”
Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Jacksonville Beach, FL, GORUCK builds the best, toughest rucking gear to equip the rucking revolution — we force multiply through training, Events, and GORUCK Clubs that empower real world communities in service to something greater than themselves. Learn more at www.goruck.com.
About the Navy SEAL Foundation
The mission of the Navy SEAL Foundation (NSF) is to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community and its families, the families of NSW fallen, and SEAL and SWCC veterans.
U.S. Navy SEALs have been in sustained combat for nearly two decades, performing hazardous work in unforgiving environments at an unrelenting pace. NSW operators are currently deployed in over 30+ countries across the globe and can spend up to 270 days each year in harm's way.
The Navy SEAL Foundation stands behind these warriors and their families by providing a comprehensive set of programs specifically designed to improve health and welfare, build and enhance resiliency, empower and educate families and provide critical support during times of illness, injury or loss.
Like the community it serves, the Navy SEAL Foundation is a high performing organization committed to excellence. NSF has been awarded the coveted 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator since 2011 and has earned a perfect score of "100" each year since 2016 for financial health, accountability, and transparency, placing NSF in the top 1% of rated charities. Ninety-five cents of every dollar donated goes directly to programs or is retained for future mission use.
The Navy SEAL Foundation is a 501c3 national non-profit charitable organization. TAX-ID 31-1728910. NSF is a non-federal entity, and it is not a part of the Department of Defense or any of its components, and it has no governmental status. To learn more, visit https://www.navySEALfoundation.org.