Jacksonville Beach, FL – (December 9, 2021) This Veterans Day, GORUCK joined forces with Gold Star Spouse, Sara Wilkinson, for the second year in a row to raise awareness for suicide prevention by honoring the life and legacy of Sara’s husband, 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.
5500 people from all over the world participated by ordering CHAD 1000X patches and t-shirts and completing the hero workout in solidarity with Chad and others lost to suicide. By the end, a total of $122,000 was raised to support Veteran Mental Health Initiatives. 50% of the proceeds went to the Navy SEAL Foundation and 50% passed through the GORUCK Foundation to The Step Up Foundation (0% allocated to overhead) which, in conjunction with Sara Wilkinson, provides financial support to other nonprofits dedicated to Veteran Mental Health initiatives.
The virtual fundraiser was promoted on GORUCK’s website and social media platforms using #chad1000X. This year, GORUCK and Sara had the support of a number of notable influencers, including Jocko Willink, Jason Khalipa, and Melissa Urban, who helped spread the word about CHAD 1000X by posting videos of themselves doing the workout, which resulted in more awareness for suicide prevention. According to the most recent statistics from the VA, veterans will have a much higher rate of suicide than non-veteran U.S. adults, at 31.6 per 100,000 people to 16.8 per 100,000.
Additionally, the CHAD 1000X Hero WOD was recognized by organizations like F3, Street Parking, Savage Race, FitVine, and The Phoenix. These brands, among others, encouraged their individual audiences to take part in the workout, either virtually or in person at one of the LIVE events. CHAD 1000X events took place in Austin at the Rogue Invitational, Ft. Pierce, Jacksonville, New York City, San Diego, Virginia Beach, Denver, and Boston.
The hero workout “Chad” consists of 1,000 step-ups with a weighted rucksack. Chad created the workout to train for the rigors of a near 23,000 foot summit in Argentina. After his death, it has become a Hero Workout and an outcry for those struggling with mental health to join the community and focus on taking one more step.
“While it’s not super technical as compared to other Hero WODs, the volume itself is a lot,” said Sara Wilkinson. “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 CHAD 1000X, I think it’s the opposite. Box step-ups aren’t technical but at some point in the 1,000 you are going to really hurt, question and maybe doubt yourself while alone in your thoughts. It's a reminder to keep going, keep pushing and as Chad used to say 'uncomfortable can't last forever.”
Jason McCarthy is the founder and CEO of GORUCK. “Supporting those who serve is part of our DNA at GORUCK and why we have doubled down on CHAD 1000X to honor Chad’s life and legacy and to raise awareness for suicide prevention,” said Jason. “Last year, we found out how close to the heart this topic is for so many people out there. We’re all impacted by suicide, we just don’t know how to share that, which is why this Hero Workout is an outcry for those struggling with mental health to join the community and focus on taking one more step.”
To learn more about the CHAD 1000X, visit: https://chad1000x.com
Founded in 2008 by former Green Beret, Jason McCarthy, GORUCK is headquartered in Jacksonville Beach, FL, and believes our way of life in America depends on those who serve, and the more we support them, the stronger our foundation as a country will be. We do this through a number of initiatives, including 1% for Those who Serve, as well as Chad 1000X. Under Jason’s leadership, GORUCK builds the toughest rucking gear to equip the rucking revolution and force multiplies through training, Events, and 500+ GORUCK Clubs all over the world that empower real world communities in service to something greater than themselves. Jason serves on the Board of the Green Beret Foundation and is the author of, How Not to Start a Backpack Company. 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. 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.
About the Step Up Foundation
The Step Up Foundation strives to change the narrative and the number of veteran suicides by dramatically expanding awareness concerning the effects of blast wave injuries, traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress. Through physical challenges and speaking engagements, the Step Up Foundation will raise funds to increase support of programs dedicated to the treatment and research of these injuries, while honoring the sacrifice made by our veterans.