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Southwestern Scorcher to Help Soldiers' Programs

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LAWTON Okla_ Southwestern Medical Center in Lawton is asking the community to lace up their running shoes and brave the heat, in support of our Wounded Warriors.

The 3rd Annual Southwestern Scorcher is Saturday. This year, they're supporting a new cause Fort Sill's Warrior Transition Unit. The morning will include events for the whole family, with a 5K run,  a one-mile walk, a kids run, and a wellness competition.

All the money raised means new opportunities for wounded soldiers and their families. For everyone involved, it's more than a race; it's an opportunity to raise awareness and funds for some of America's heroes.

"These people are here to help ease the tension of getting out," Sergeant Preston Pumphrey said.

He knows the benefits of the Warrior Transition Unit firsthand. Friday, he was receiving career counseling to help him in his civilian job search.

"This is excellent to have all of this stuff to build you up to that point," Pumphrey said. "It's a good confidence builder."

He has been going through physical therapy to recover from injuries that are causing him to transition out of the army after almost nine years. The Wounded Warrior program helped him focus on the whole picture.

"They help with not only the issue that you were sent here for, but you take the time to recover fully from other issues that you have been putting aside," Pumphrey said.

It's all in effort to eliminate the shock factor of leaving behind an army career. For most soldiers, serving in the army is not only their career, but their passion. So when injuries occur, many are left wondering what happens next. Captain Justin Crowe said that's where Fort Sill's Warrior Transition Unit steps in.

"We help them accomplish their mission," Crowe said. "Their mission here is to recover and heal. So, we set the conditions for that to happen."

Soldiers in the unit are working toward recovering and healing to stay in the army or transition to civilian life. They work with the Fort Sill Soldier and Family Assistance Center to fully grasp their situation.

"We teach the skills they need to understand what is going on with them, what the injuries have done to them, and to help them learn some ways to overcome," Fort Sill Soldier and Family Assistance Center Director Mary Ellen Saur said.

CPT Crowe said that the money raised from events like the Southwestern Scorcher means more opportunities for Fort Sill's Wounded Warriors.

"It helps the soldiers enjoy some of the activities here on Fort Sill and across the state," Crowe said. "It allows them to see and do things that aid in their recovery."

It's not too late for you to sign up for the Southwestern Scorcher. Race day registration opens at 6:45AM Saturday. 100% of the proceeds go to Fort Sill's Wounded Warrior programs.

The Southwestern Scorcher kicks off at 8:00 AM from Southwestern Medical Center on SW Lee Boulevard. It's $30 5K, $25 1-mile walk, and $20 for the kids run or wellness competition.  

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