For Immediate Release

Veteran Count Pack & Boots 5K - Why One National Guardsman Takes on the Survival Run

For More Information
Meredith Elkins
Senior Vice President
Marketing & Communications

June 20, 2022

Veteran Count Pack & Boots Road Race
Returns to Portsmouth July 4, 2022

Why One National Guardsman Takes on the Event’s Survival Run

Manchester, NH – Travis Smith has served in the air national guard for the last 12 years and has completed two tours overseas, one in Africa and one in Germany. At 29, Smith is young, healthy and patriotic, and loves serving his country.

When a friend asked him to participate in the first Veteran’s Count Pack & Boots 5K Road Race & 1-Mile Survival Run on July 4, 2013, he immediately said yes. Smith, who is based out of the South Portland Air National Guard Station in Portland, Maine, only missed the event one year while he was stationed in Africa.

“It strikes a sweet spot for me. I love July Fourth and everything it stands for, and I like to directly contribute to helping veterans. Hopefully, I don’t need the services, but it’s nice to know they will be there if I do,” Smith said, adding the uniqueness of the event appeals to him. “I’m a glutton for punishment. I like doing the 1-mile sprint in a weighted vest.”

“There is no better day than July 4 to celebrate those who fought for and continue to fight for the freedoms we all value,” said Joseph Emmons, chief development officer at Easterseals NH. “This patriotic event brings together veterans and the community to raise money for an important cause.”

The event benefits Veterans Count, the philanthropic arm of Easterseals New Hampshire’s Military & Veterans Services.

This year, Pack & Boots will be held on Monday, July 4, beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth. Participants can either walk or run a 5K, do a 1-mile survival run with a pack (of their own) weighing approximately 10% of their body weight, or both. A 100-meter kids’ fun run makes the event family-friendly. Virtual participation is available. Registration is free for veterans!

More information is available at

This race is part of the Easterseals & Veterans Count Race Series, presented by BAE Systems. In-person participants 18 and over who participate in three out of five races earn an official race series quarter-zip pullover.

Easterseals is grateful to race sponsors including Seacoast Dream Dentistry, FedPoint, Progressive Electric Services, BAE Systems, Seaport Fish, Dover Chevrolet, Service Credit Union, and Weidema, Lavin, Grott Accounting, PC.

About Easterseals New Hampshire Military & Veterans Services

Easterseals New Hampshire Military & Veterans Services was founded in 2007 to provide case management and emergency financial assistance to meet the unexpected needs of service members, veterans and their families. Veterans Count, the philanthropic arm of Military & Veterans Services, Emergency financial assistance may consist of things such as rental assistance, gas, food or utility payments. Last year alone, the program served more than 1,660 veterans, assisting them in accessing eligible benefits and services, housing, counseling services and other needs including emergency financial assistance to build a sustainable, secure and viable future. Our commitment is to ensure the dignity, health and overall well-being of each service member, veteran and their families.  

Travis Smith, center, wearing bib 238, at a Veterans Count Pack & Boots Road Race.


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