At the 128th Boston Marathon® presented by Bank of America, 10 runners will don Team USO singlets and raise funds on behalf of the organization. The goal is to reach $100,000, which will assist the USO in achieving its mission of keeping service members connected to family, home and country throughout their service to the nation. Let’s meet this year’s runners!
Heather Burns is an Army veteran who entered the service through Penn State’s ROTC program. She trained to be a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter pilot at Ft. Rucker and then joined the 101st Airborne Division at Ft. Campbell. Heather dedicated more than four years to the Army. She is currently a senior vice president at Jefferies.
Heather has completed five marathons, three ultramarathons and two half Ironman triathlons. This will be her first time running Boston.
Dr. Anders “AJ” Davidson is an active-duty major in the United States Air Force and a vascular surgeon at David Grant Medical Center (Travis AFB) and the University of California, Davis. He is also an assistant professor of surgery through the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and has published more than 30 peer-reviewed research articles. AJ has been in the military for the last 15 years.
A little over a year ago, AJ decided he wanted to run a marathon. He completed the California International Marathon and has caught the running bug. He cannot wait to tackle Boston as a member of Team USO.
Jake Dexter is half of our mother-son duo running for Team USO. Jake currently serves in the Army and is a physical therapy student. Service runs in his blood as his father dedicated more than 30 years to the Army.
Jake ran cross-country and in high school and has completed three half marathons. Jake’s dream has been to run a marathon alongside his mother.
Mona Dexter is a military spouse and mother who currently works at Comcast NBCUniversal in the role of vice president of military & veteran affairs. Mona is also a member of the USO Northeast Region advisory board.
Mona has finished nine marathons and multiple half-marathons. She is excited to be a member of Team USO and plans to take this opportunity to educate the public on the importance of the support provided by the organization.
Army Captain Mykela Foster is a proud USO New England volunteer and avid runner who is currently deployed overseas with the Ohio National Guard. Mykela lives in Boston with her fiancé Patrick, who is also a Captain in the Army Reserves and their dog, Maverick. She is a Sr. HR Program Manager for Amazon who also supports the USO! She is looking forward to continuing her service in the Massachusetts National Guard once she returns home.
“The services, benefits, and opportunities the USO offers make a huge difference in our service member’s lives,” she said. “Wherever we go, they’re there like a ray of sunshine! Running the iconic Boston Marathon on their behalf is a dream come true and huge honor.”
Anthony Lee is a 22-year disabled, retired Army and Air Force veteran who is married to a retired Army veteran. Anthony is no stranger to the Boston Marathon course, having completed it multiple times. He has completed well over 200 marathons, as well as 17 Ironman triathlons (full distance).
Anthony stated he has used the USO his entire life and credits the organization with keeping him sane while deployed. His appreciation for the USO is the driving force behind his desire to raise money on its behalf.
LCDR Paul Milliken is an active-duty Coast Guardsman who serves in the office of the Staff Judge Advocate for the First Coast Guard District in Boston. Paul enlisted in 2003 and got his first experience with the USO at Philadelphia International Airport – where all enlisted Coasties muster. He served on five cutters and two small boat stations before earning his law degree.
Outside of his military service, Paul is a Scout leader and works as a captain at his family’s whale-watching company, the Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown.
Christopher Pounch is a service member supporter who has worked in the defense industry for more than 15 years on the Navy submarine program.
“I see the sacrifices made by our U.S. Navy sailors day in and day out in my line of work,” he stated. “Part of my job is to help deliver them the tools they need to protect us and our way of life. Giving back to them through the USO is just another way that I can thank them for what they do.”
Chris has completed one marathon and five half marathons.
Corrie is a military spouse and sister. Her husband serves in the Army and her family is currently stationed in Colorado. Corrie first fell in love with long-distance running after college. She completed four marathons and 12 half marathons and has dreamed of completing Boston for many years.
Outside of running, Corrie loves to hike with her children and is passionate about sharing the ins and outs of military family life on social media.
Jeff Struecker is a pastor, podcaster, author and speaker who dedicated nearly 23 years of service to the Army. Jeff completed 17 combat deployments in five different U.S. wars, including Black Hawk Down, and is a member of the U.S. Army Ranger Hall of Fame.
He has completed numerous marathons and ultramarathons. Jeff earned a Ph.D. and various honorary degrees and has published six books.
Jeff is honored to be a member of Team USO and is looking forward to giving back to “the organization that has done so much for warriors and military families.”
To support Team USO at the Boston Marathon, visit bit.ly/24TeamUSOBostonMarathon
More from USO
USO Helps Airmen Find Connection Through Gaming
Senior Master Sgt. Erwin Greene is a self-proclaimed gamer. So, when attending a Top 3 meeting to discuss ways to reach younger airmen at W…
KMF Strong Partners with USO & Local Marines for Team USO
Do you want to challenge Marines to pushup and pullup contests? Do you want to donate to a worthy cause? Then you need to come down to KMF …
Golf Tournament Raises Funds for Local Military Charities
Every Veterans Day for the past decade, Scott and Ann McEvoy and their co-founder Matt Quinn have put on a golf tournament at Franklin Coun…