“It’s a tragic thing and it’s connection from that event to this event is that’s something that vets experience on a daily basis over there. So you can imagine they’re in that situation all the time when they’re deployed and it becomes more important to support a cause like this,” says veteran and runner Nick Pszenny, a senior at Northeastern University. He and his team, Huskies for Heroes, have raised about $26,000 for this year’s race. He says the reason to help is simple.

“They served us, it’s time to serve them.”