On October 31st over 18,000 runners will attempt to complete the 29th annual Marine Corps Marathon. One runner will participate again this year with a special purpose. To honor the memory of Major Robert Leslie Olson, USMA class of 1987. My name is Jane Dolan and I am that runner. I did not have the unique opportunity to know Major Olson, but he represents one soldier in a long line of men and women who have dedicated themselves to service. Current events around the world have profoundly moved me and many others to find ways to honor our soldier's sacrifices. We are moved by the dedication that our troops and their families have for the future of our country. Even in tragedy their conviction for service is indefatigable. Last year after gaining entry into MCM I became aware of an organization called TAPS, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, they provided me the opportunity to run in honor of Major Olson and raise money for their noble cause. TAPS is non-profit organization that reaches out to families who have been impacted by the death of a loved one in the armed service, including the Reserves and National Guard. They help spouses, children, parents, siblings, fiancées, and friends with a peer support network to cope and recover. After learning more about TAPS, Team Olson was created. What better way to honor the families of people like Major Olson and others who bring integrity, discipline and dignity to the defense of our country and hope to those in need throughout the world. It was said that Major Olson excelled in teaching cadets and soldiers to do things "the right way". Those cadets and soldiers became officers and NCO's and no doubt taught hundreds, if not thousands, of soldiers to do it the right way too. Rob's leadership legacy spread not only across the Army but likely far beyond the boundaries of the Army as an enduring life lesson for all. To have such vision and passion is truly a gift and Rob was clearly a special person. With the generosity of one very special friend of Robs and other donations from people who never met him, we raised over $8,500 dollars last year and I completed the 26.2! The goal for this year is $10,000. By sponsoring Team Olson you will allow Robs legacy to be brought to light again and allow hundreds of children to know first hand the gratitude we have for their loved ones. Funds we raise this year will go directly to The 2005 Good Grief Youth Camp in memory of Rob and honoring the USMA Class of 1987 graduates. This camp is the Nations preeminent and renowned military grief and loss program for children. By the end of the camp, which is held in our nation's capitol on Memorial Day weekend, children ages 2-20 will make lifelong relationships and gain healthy perspectives as they learn, laugh, and realize their own grief issues. By supporting TAPS "OUR COUNTRY WE STRENGTHEN' one family at a time. My sincere appreciation to Scott Andrews for contacting me so many months ago to inquire about TAPS and Team Olson, his positive, kind and unwavering willingness to help has encouraged me to once again train hard and smart! This is one more example of the legacy that was Major Olson, to do it the right way. Thanks to Scott, and all the friends and classmates of Major Olson. Sincerely, Jane Dolan [email protected] ===> TO DONATE: Go to http://www.taps.org - Click on "make a donation" then enter TEAM OLSON/USMA1987 in the designated donation space provided, or send donations to TAPS c/o TEAM OLSON 2001 S. St. NW Suite 300 Washington D.C, 20009. Thank you!!!