I mention 9/11, because last Sunday the nation as a whole, and the San Diego area more specifically, suffered a loss which extends directly  from 9/11.  Jon Tumilson , from Rockford, Iowa, was one of 22 members of SEAL TEAM 6 who were among the 30 soldiers, airmen, and Afghans killed when their helicopter was shot down by Taliban insurgents.  But JT, as he was called, was also a member of the San Diego running/triathlon community, and next Tuesday August 16th members of that community will gather to celebrate and salute their friend.  On his Facebook account, San Diego coach Kevin McCarey, whose own son Eamonn is a midshipman at the Naval Academy, outlined the scope of JT’s personality and the memorial service he has planned.
“He was magnificent- he lived BIG – and he was a very big country boy – with goals – with love for our way of life – Trust me, he had no fear – on his first tour I said – ‘keep your head down’ – HE SAID, ‘NO, I’m gonna make that other guy keep his head down.’ -REMEMBER HIS SMILE, HIS ATTITUDE AT OUR WORKOUTS – HE ALWAYS WENT FOR IT – WE WILL ALL MISS THE BIG MAN!   Next TUESDAY AUGUST 16th I would like to invite every runner and triathlete in SAN DIEGO to attend a celebration of JT’s life, a SEAL TEAM6 member who gave everything to protect us. WE WILL MEET AT 5:30pm at the RUNNERS BATHROOM, EAST MISSION BAY DRIVE, FOR A WALK/RUN/ bike/crawl around FIESTA ISLAND and back.  Go one mile.  Go 7 miles, but just show up and celebrate the lives of 30 young men who left the planet to serve our NATION – afterwards SHAKESPERE BAR TO HOIST A BEER!”
Kevin & Eamonn McCarey

There is a reason we call it the running community.  In this age of dislocation, as the march of technology continues to atomize our increasingly isolating society, as fewer and fewer Americans share the burden that JT and his brethern bore in our names to their final measure, it is left to the searchers and seekers of spiritual sustenance in all their forms to remind us of the common bond that more than ever links us.  I didn’t personally know JT, but if he was a runner, then that doesn’t matter.  He was a brother, and his loss is profoundly felt, and in need of communual celebration.  Next Tuesday, then, once again at speed for JT and all he represented.     END