Veterans Day weekend ‘Outdoor Freedom Run’ to benefit wounded veterans


SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — The second annual ‘Outdoor Freedom Run‘ is being held Saturday, Nov. 13 at Point Washington State Forest to benefit Operation Outdoor Freedom.

Participants can choose between a 3.5-mile loop, a 6-mile loop, or an 11-mile loop. Those participating in the 11-mile loop begin at 8:30 a.m., with the other participants starting in 15-minute increments after that.

Aaron Haugan, Operation Outdoor Freedom’s fundraiser coordinator, said anyone wanting to get out and get active can register.

“You don’t have to be an avid runner,” he said. “If you’re just a walker or a run-walker, come out and enjoy the scenery and the camaraderie.”

Operation Outdoor Freedom is a fundraiser-based program through the Florida Forest Service. It gives wounded veterans the chance to enjoy fun events and activities at no cost. The veterans that participate must be a Florida resident, have a 30% service-connected disability, or be a purple-heart recipient.

Kyle Bradley, Operation Outdoor Freedom’s event coordinator, said because the program is run on fundraisers, the community’s support with the ‘Outdoor Freedom Run’ is crucial for them to continue hosting their events for wounded veterans.

“Deer hunting events, hog hunting, canoe trips, we do deep-sea fishing,” said Bradley. “We actually have a South Walton getaway where we’ll put them up in a hotel on 30a in South Walton on the beach and them and their caretaker or their spouse can be with them.”

To participate in the run, you can register online or show up at the Eastern Lake Trail at Point Washington State Forest at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13.

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