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Man working to break running world record to fulfill fallen Navy SEAL’s final wish

Project Campbell
Project Campbell(Shane Battis)
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 9:04 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Nels Matson is trying to run across the country in less than 42 days, and he wants every step to count toward helping veterans throughout the United States.

“I’m just kind of like an old-fashioned messenger,” Matson said while holding a steady jog on his treadmill. “Just carrying his message by foot.”

Matson plans to run from California all the way to New York in less than 42 days.

The hope is by training all day at the downtown gym he’ll catch the eye of gym patrons, but not for himself.

“I’m doing that to carry Chris Campbell’s message across,” he said.

Chris Campbell was a Navy SEAL who was killed in action. In 2011, his helicopter was shot down by Taliban in Afghanistan.

In his will was a handwritten note. He wrote that his final wish was for 100,000 people to donate to the Wounded Warrior Project. It’s a lofty goal his family has already made headway on.

So far, more than 30,000 people have joined the cause by donating.

However, Matson is trying to push that number even closer to that finish line.

His run across America, called Project Campbell’s Call, is bringing more attention to Campbell’s final wish. Matson is encouraging everyone who watches him train and run to donate the Wounded Warrior Project.

Matson said he never knew Campbell, but he heard his story through his sister and felt compelled to help.

“He just had a heart of service and the dies of this wish that this heart of service extended even beyond his 15 years that he served our country just drew me in,” Matson said.

It would, of course, be amazing if he can beat the world record in Campbell’s honor. He said doings so would help leave a lasting legacy for Campbell and his mission to keep supporting other veterans beyond his own death.

“So we can set something in stone that just keeps carrying on for a while longer with his name on it,” Matson said.

Matson will be running at the F45 Training in Downtown Sarasota from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m. throughout Saturday. Everyone is welcome to come to the gym to watch him run and donate to the cause.

If you can’t make it in person, you can still donate by clicking here.

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