Team USO 2024: Mona and Jake Dexter

Before joining another family during the holidays ask yourself, are you in a family who is content to enjoy staying at home and eating all day, or the family who runs a themed 5k early in the morning? Well, I think we can guess what this mother-son duo’s choice would be. Mona Dexter and Jake Dexter will be running in the 128th Boston Marathon for #teamUSO on April 15th, 2024.

“When my son, Jake, was applying to physical therapy school, he turned to me and asked, ‘Mom, if I am admitted to physical therapy school, will you run the Boston Marathon with me?’ I immediately agreed,” said Mona.

Jake and Mona at Jake’s commissioning ceremony at the University of Virginia

The Dexters are avid runners. Mona completed the 120th Boston Marathon in 2016 but wasn’t going to turn down the opportunity to run again with her son, Jake. Jake was admitted to his first-choice program and school, the U.S. Army Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Baylor University. He attended the University of Virginia for his undergraduate degree on an ROTC scholarship and was committed to service before graduating from high school. Even though there was some hardship over the past few years and health issues to conquer, mother and son remained committed to their goal of running the Boston Marathon together.

At the beginning of 2024, Mona joined one of the USO’s Regional Advisory Councils and now serves on the Global Advisory Council. “The USO enhances the quality of life of the military and their families by providing essential services and programs such as entertainment, support, and connection,” said Mona.

When the opportunity arose to join the USO team for 2024, Jake and Mona knew it was their year to run. A goal 7 years in the making. The Dexter’s are not only running on Team USO because they believe in the mission, but they also have personal ties to the organization.

Jake and Mona at the Daegu Military Community 5K finish line in 2015.

Jake stated, “I grew up as a military child as my dad served for nearly 30 years in the Army. We moved around constantly (10 times before I turned 18). When I lived on a base in Daegu, South Korea, during high school, the USO had movie nights in their theater, put on community events and provided computers for service members and their families to use. My dog would even volunteer as a morale pet [as a part of the USO Canine Program].”

He fondly remembers a time when the USO organized a celebrity tour with one of his dad’s favorite baseball teams, the Boston Red Sox with legend, Curt Schilling. But it wasn’t even the flashiest event that made the biggest impact. For Jake and his family, it was the day-to-day USO programs and opportunities that provided support for service members and their families, while abroad and even back at home.

“The USO meets people where they are and provides the necessary help where they can,” said Jake.

The mother-son duo is honored and thrilled to be part of the team and to continue to expand awareness and support for what the USO does, serving those who serve.

You can help Mona; Jake and the rest of the Team USO runners reach their Boston Marathon goal by donating here:

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