Petraeus in DC for suicide awareness run
Former CIA director David Petraeus, center, and VA assistant secretary Tommy Sowers, his left, take part in the "Run as One" event in Washington, D.C., on May 18.
Stars and Stripes
WASHINGTON — Saturday’s “Run as One” event in the nation’s capital featured a low-key appearance for disgraced former CIA director David Petraeus, who participated in the 5K amid some of his most ardent supporters.
The event was one of dozens held nationwide by veterans with Team Red, White and Blue and Team Rubicon, in honor of friends lost to suicide.
Runs in other cities paid tribute to the memory of Clay Hunt, a Team Rubicon member who took his own life two years ago. The Washington event was run in honor of Neil Landsberg, a veteran of both groups who committed suicide earlier this year.
Petraeus, a long-time supporter of Team RWB, has kept a low profile since resigning from the Central Intelligence Agency over an extramarital affair with a military aide. But he spoke at the event about the importance of teamwork and camaraderie, even after military service ends.
“This is a reminder of what we need to do for each other,” he said, referring to the team members’ suicides. “There’s a culture of being strong [in the military], but what we’ve learned is that everyone needs someone else at a certain time.”
“The men and women on your right and left, that’s what it’s all about.”
Petraeus was commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan — and led U.S. Central Command — during his 35-year military career. The West Point graduate has kept close ties with many other Army officers at the U.S. Military Academy over the years, even after his resignation.
The event featured about 120 students, Veterans Affairs employees and other area veterans, as well as members of Landsberg’s family.
Officials from Team RWB and Team Rubicon recently announced they’ll coordinate more events like this to help veterans with the transition to civilian life, and to provide a network of support for veterans in crisis.