SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan — 1st Lt. Matthew Small is currently serving overseas as a supply officer with Combined Task Force 1ST Battalion, 6TH Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan.
As the supply officer, Small, ensures the FOB is provided with the proper equipment and materials essential to maintaining effective and efficient operations.
What many people do not his how he spends his free time outside of his duties.
Small is an avid runner and with the support of his wife, Alisa, and his family and friends back home in southern Indiana, he has made the decision to run approximately 1,000 miles while deployed.
When Matthew’s mother, Rita Small, first heard about his son’s objective, she knew that she had to get onboard right away and support Matthew in every way she could. 1
“Leave it to my Mom to take a simple goal I’ve started and turn it into a community wide event. It’s incredible the support they’re [family and friends] are giving me,” Small said.
In an effort to spread the news about her son’s goal, Rita created a Facebook page titled “Miles with Matt”.
Mrs. Small’s enthusiasm is obvious by her motivation to walk 1,000 miles herself while her son is deployed.
She also supports family members and friends to do the same. On the Facebook page, Mrs. Small states, “While protecting our freedom, he [Matthew] has set a goal to run 1,000 miles before returning home. I decided I wanted to support him by setting my goal to ‘walk’ 1000 miles. It's the least I can do to show my support and get healthy at the same time.”
Members of the “Miles with Matt” Facebook group post updates daily about their progress towards walking or running 1,000 miles during the time Matthew is deployed. In turn, Small makes weekly updates on the Facebook page addressing his progress in pursuit of 1,000 miles.
“Their [Matthew’s friends] support is a huge factor in keeping me going. It’s incredible, it’s awesome, what they have shown my family,” Small said, sharing his mothers enthusiasm.
In recent weeks, the support for Small’s efforts has grown so much that local news stations have started tracking his progress.
Matthew summed it all up by saying, “I’d like to tell everyone back in the states to keep up all the hard work, I’m seeing all the posts on Facebook and it’s great!”
1st Lt. Small’s progress can be tracked on the “Miles with Matt” Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/MileswithMatt/.
As of Aug. 26, he has run a total of 419 miles. A walking group meets at South Spencer High School in Rockport, Indiana, Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. to walk and show their support for Matthew.