YOU’VE PROBABLY SEEN US POST QUITE A BIT…
…about Travis Manion and the Foundation that bears his name. However, with nearly 50 of the 9/11 Heroes Runs kicking off soon we realized that we’ve never really talked much about Travis himself or explained why we’re proud to be partnered with the Travis Manion Foundation. Before we go any further, we’d like to remind you that you can find your local Heroes Run and register for it HERE.
1. Travis was born on November 19, 1980 to Janet and Tom Manion.
His father was an active-duty Marine (and would later retire from the Marine Corps Reserve as a Colonel). His family moved around quite a bit during his childhood before settling in Doylestown, PA, where Travis would live until graduating from high school in 1999.
2. Travis graduated from the US Naval Academy in 2004.
He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps after 4 years as a standout wrestler at USNA then began his officer training at The Basic School in Quantico, VA. Selected to become a logistics officer, he joined 1st Reconnaissance Battalion at Camp Pendleton, CA after completing his MOS school.
3. He deployed to Iraq twice.
In his first deployment he filled the role of Maintenance Management Officer for 1st Recon Battalion.
Between deployments he attended a Philadelphia Eagles game with his brother-in-law Dave — Dave made an offhand joke about how he could push Travis down a flight of stairs and break his leg so he wouldn’t have to deploy again. Travis responded “If not me, then who…” — meaning that if he didn’t go back to Iraq, someone with less preparation and less experience would have to go in his place, potentially putting the mission and other lives at risk.
In December 2006 he deployed again, this time as part of a Military Transition Team advising (and fighting alongside) an Iraqi Army battalion near Fallujah. On April 29, 2007 Travis was killed in action while providing aid for his wounded comrades and drawing fire away from them.
Initially buried near his family’s Pennsylvania home, Travis would later be disinterred and moved to Arlington National Cemetery to be buried alongside Brendan Looney, his Naval Academy roommate who was killed in action in Afghanistan.
4. Following his death, The Basic School named its new barracks after him.
Manion Hall now serves as barracks for newly-commissioned Marine officers attending The Basic School.
Additionally, Travis’s family accepted a posthumous Silver Star on his behalf for his actions on the day of his death, as well as a Bronze Star with Combat Distinguishing Device for his valor in an earlier engagement.
Perhaps the greatest honor was the fact that his Iraqi counterparts chose to name their new headquarters building after Travis in recognition of his fighting spirit and dedication to their training — Combat Outpost Manion was one of only two Iraqi-operated outposts named after an American.
5. The Travis Manion Foundation was established later in 2007.
Travis’s parents initially sought to do something to support our nation’s veterans and the families of our fallen, but likely never imagined that TMF would grow to what it is today. Its four major initiatives include:
- Character Does Matter — TMF Ambassadors tell the story of Travis and Brendan to inspire our future leaders to live out the IF NOT ME, THEN WHO motto in their daily lives.
- Mentorship and Advocacy Program for Veterans — Through internships and job skills training, MAP-V helps veterans make the transition from the military to fulfilling civilian careers.
- Expeditions — TMF organizes service trips, challenge grants, and survivor summits to offer support to families and friends of the fallen and to allow them to complete meaningful projects in honor of the fallen.
- 9/11 Heroes Runs — TMF holds 50+ events all around the US to honor those who have fallen since 9/11 and to give back to local organizations that support the military, law enforcement, firefighters, and paramedics.
You can read more about TMF’s mission HERE.
Hopefully that gives you a better background on TMF — as a reminder, you can register for your local 9/11 Heroes Run HERE.
Even if you have no intention of running a 5K we still strongly recommend attending your local event to show your support for the Foundation and their local counterpart — proceeds from each race will be shared between TMF and a local military or first responder charity.
And you can click below to learn more about our exclusive line of Travis Manion Foundation products — 40% from each sale goes directly to TMF.