The Disposable Heroes Project (DHP) was formed while founder Brad McKee was training for a 100-mile

run from Brathwaite, LA to McKee’s hometown of Hammond, LA. The young Marine Corps veteran, and

CrossFit gym owner, was running to raise money for injured veterans.

McKee said the “Disposable Heroes” name came from a tattoo he saw on the chest of a fellow Marine

he met while on active duty. The Marine explained that his love for his country was so intense, he was

willing to do anything to protect the freedom of every American.

Later, McKee saw the story of Reconnaissance Marine Keith Zeier, who ran 100 miles from Key Largo, FL

to Key West, FL to raise money for families of fallen soldiers. Zeier, who had sustained permanent

muscle and nerve damage in his left leg and a severe head injury after being injured by IED in 2006, was

an inspiration to McKee; the genesis of DHP was planted.

A 100-mile run is not an insignificant distance. One of the biggest challenges of that distance is the

mental component. “The self-talk that happens when running long distances can help you or hurt you,”

said McKee. To combat this, McKee had friends and fellow veterans agree to run portions of the

distance with him. When things got difficult, they offered encouragement and were a source of

motivation.

If you listen to McKee, he didn’t seem to need much external motivation. He said, “If I’m in forward

motion, putting one foot in front of the other, no matter how bad I hurt, I’m going to get eventually

somewhere, and hopefully that somewhere is the finish line, at some point.” He continued, “Unless I

pass out and I’m unconscious, and I can’t tell the doctor or the ambulance to leave me there and let me

recover so I can get back up, I’m not going to stop.”

In much the same way as the additional runners provided support to McKee during the run, the DHP

provides assistance to active duty troops and veterans as they go through tough times. DHP has done

everything from helping families who may have fallen behind on their child’s tuition payments, to

covering medical bills for a veteran who sustained an injury that the VA won’t cover.

Watch the video above and listen to Brad explain the history of the DHP, and follow along on the first

part of McKee’s 100 mile journey.