Bryan Hoddle (far right) works
on stepover mechanics with Cory
See. Below, Hoddle runs alongside
veteran Steve Martin at the 2013
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Seattle.
E Athletes again
COSTCO MEMBER BRYAN Hoddle is
standing on a track and watching as a couple
of dozen wounded veterans, many of them
double amputees, sprint down the straightaway on high-tech prosthetics. And, like him,
they’re all smiling.
With Hoddle yelling encouragements,
these Army vets, many of whom had lost
limbs from roadside bombs while fighting in
Afghanistan or Iraq, are starting to see themselves as athletes again.
“These guys who have lost so much start
to think, ‘Yeah, I can do this,’ ” says Hoddle
( bryanhoddle.com), of Chandler, Arizona.
Since Hoddle’s first trip to Walter Reed
Army Medical Center in September 2004,
he’s helped thousands of wounded vets get
their lives back, teaching many of them how
to run on prosthetics. Hoddle, who has
coached the U.S. Paralympics track team, has
also helped wounded vets at Lakeshore
Foundation in Alabama.
The premise of Lakeshore Foundation is that activity changes lives. “Bryan
gives a lot of them hope and helps them to
see something they might not be able to see
in themselves,” says Mandy Goff, assistant
director of athletics and recreation at
Before joining the Army, Steve Martin
was an exceptional athlete in high school,
running 400 meters in 47 seconds. Martin
was blown out of a Humvee when a roadside
bomb exploded on a road in Afghanistan in
2008, leading to the amputation of both of his
legs below his knees.
With Hoddle’s help, Martin went from
athlete to wounded soldier to athlete again.
“Before I was hurt my goal was to finish a
marathon before I turned 40,” Martin says. He
did it at 41, running on prosthetics.
“Bryan got me realizing that, OK, I can
run,” Martin says. “I can get some of that back
that I lost.”—Gail Wood
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HONORING THE MILITARY
JIM KNOTTS RECEIVED a hero’s welcome
when he returned home from serving in
the Gulf War. He believes that treatment
came as a direct result of the previous
commitments Vietnam veterans made
to ensure that, in contrast to their own
experiences, future military personnel
would receive the honor and respect
“Many of our Vietnam veterans were
not treated well when they came home,
and they were not cared for,” says Knotts,
president and CEO of the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial Fund (VVMF; vvmf.org).
VVMF was founded in 1979 to honor
and preserve the legacy of service and
to educate the public about the impact
of the Vietnam War and that era. The
nonprofit organization built the Vietnam
Veterans Memorial, known as The Wall, in
Washington, D.C., in 1982, completely from
“The Wall has helped to heal a generation and our nation from the divisive
wounds of Vietnam, and it helps visitors
to understand the cost of war not in dollars, but in human lives,” says Knotts, a
VVMF holds ceremonies at The Wall,
sponsors a traveling Wall and exhibit,
and campaigns to find photos of every
service member on The Wall. It also
honors Vietnam veterans who have died
of war-related causes, such as Agent
Orange–related cancer, but who, because
they did not die in battle, are not eligible
to be inscribed on The Wall, according to
Department of Defense guidelines. VVMF is
currently fundraising to build an Education
Center at The Wall where current and
future generations can learn
about the Vietnam War as
well as America’s tradition of service.
“There really is a
legacy of service to
those who wore the
uniform,” Knotts says.
“[Veterans] owe a debt
to those who came
and they have
to those who