SAN ANTONIO – Traci Uribe has run several types of races benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit that provides free programs and services for veterans injured in combat and for those suffering from psychological disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
Uribe's husband, Sgt. Javier Uribe, served in the U.S. Army for two overseas tours as a frontline combat medic. Uribe said he now suffers from PTSD.
"I think about just what my husband might have been going through when he served there," she said.
Uribe said that's why she started running several Wounded Warrior events five years ago.
"Races where there's a heightened awareness around PTSD mental illness and even external wounds that you can see, you know, you can see throughout the races people running," she said.
To prepare for the races like the Carry Forward 5K, Traci runs about 20 miles a week carrying a 60-pound backpack.
"So I have a giant rice bag in here, and this is a 20-pound rice bag," Uribe said.
She also runs in combat boots.
"If you really want to try to put yourself in the shoes of our soldiers, then combat boots is the way to go," she said. "Usually I am pretty numb by the end."
Traci Uribe said despite the blisters and pain, nothing will ever compare or will she truly know what her husband and other service men and women have gone through.
"I know that I'll never go through what he went through, but if I can somewhat put myself in his shoes and think about myself in that realm, it helps me become closer to him and truly get a better understanding of what he might have gone through," she said.
Uribe said she thinks the community can do a better job at coming together and supporting our military members, who she said are the reason we enjoy our freedom.
"Nothing's free," Uribe said. "There's always a price to pay, somehow and someway. Unfortunately, sometimes, that's people losing lives, and limbs and mental health."
Uribe will participate in the Wounded Warrior Carry Forward 5K on Saturday at Mission County Park. Registration at 7:30 a.m. and the race begins an hour later.
For more information on the event, click here.