Wounded Warrior Project motivates Godby
ST. CLAIRSVILLE – If everyone had Josh Godby’s initiative, compassion and perspective, the world would be a much better place.
Godby traveled down from Elyria on Saturday morning to watch some friends take part in Belmont County’s first Tough Mudder. And, if the event returns in 2014, don’t be surprised if you see Godby involved.
”I wanted to check it out so I can possibly be in it next year in the chair,” he said.
Yes, the chair. His wheelchair.
Godby lost one of his legs to cancer. And even though the 32-year-old is differently-able, not handicapped, he’s not letting it slow him, or his efforts to make a difference in the lives of others, down.
”I’m preparing to go on a ride across the State of Ohio to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House,” he said. ”I’m gonna cross Ohio in the chair and camp along the way for them.”
Godby said that trek, nor doing the Mudder will be easy. That’s why he exercises about six miles a week.
”I’m motivated,” he said.
Godby is also motivated by the Wounded Warrior Project and what the 10-year-old organization does for veterans coming home from military service across the globe. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured service members aid and assist each other, and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.
That’s why he spent a few minutes inside the BIC 4 GOOD Barbershop Tent having his head shaved by Kristy Hendershot, owner of Wheeling’s Kristen’s Salon & Spa.
”I have a lot of friends that were over there (in Iraq and Afghanistan),” he said. ”That’s why if Wounded Warrior wants you to shave your head, I’m gonna do it.”
Godby spoke of one friend from North Carolina, a Green Beret, who took shrapnel.
”He’s OK now,” he said. ”He just finished his fifth tour; three in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.
”He’s one of the ‘bad guys.’ The ‘good bad guys.’ ”
Hendershot said she was happy to take part in Tough Mudder. As of early Saturday afternoon, he and her staff had given more than 100 haircuts.
”We’re having a great time,” she said, noting people had come in from mostly the Pittsburgh area, but also from Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Texas. ”I think it’s great. A lot of money goes to Wounded Warriors. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever heard of.”
To date, Tough Mudder has raised more than $5.7 million for WWP and the number keeps rising every week. And the fact Tough Mudder is a staunch supporter of WWP isn’t lost on many Mudders.
”We love these things,” said Shawn McIntosh, who was taking part with a group that included members from Pittsburgh, Maryland and Connecticut.
The group carried the American flag throughout the 12-mile course and McIntosh carried it across the finish line.
”We have two ex-service guys here,” he said. ”There’s no such thing as an ex-Marine … we have an off-duty Marine.”
Just like General Douglas MacArthur said in his farewell address to Congress: ”Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”