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
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.