Stories - Team Mission United

Friday, October 15, 2021
Jason Jason Safuto, no stranger to service, is a former member of the U.S. Navy now in his 20th year as a NYPD police officer. If he discovered service many years ago, Safuto didn’t discover running until later in life. He has since run numerous races and is now gearing up for his first marathon as part of Team Mission United, United Way of Long Island’s entry in that race. “I never liked running. Now I can’t live without it,” Safuto, a Lindenhurst resident, said. “I feel like it helps me think, helps me relieve stress.” Safuto is happy to be part of the Team Mission United group of runners…
Monday, October 4, 2021
Nelson Nelson Reyes is a U.S. Army veteran as well as a member of Team Mission United, United Way of Long Island’s team of runners entered in the New York City Marathon to raise money for veterans. He understands what it means to serve in the military as well as the importance of supporting veterans. “I believe that the veteran demographic is a tricky one to serve, especially in regard to combat veterans,” Nelson, 37, of Central Islip, said. “The more programs and awareness we can bring to this community the better.” Nelson joined the Army in July of 2002 soon after 9/11. He said he felt it…
Monday, October 4, 2021
David Running the New York City Marathon as part of the United Way’s Team Mission United will be David Smith’s first full marathon, but he’s no stranger to track and field. Running this race, to raise funds for veterans, is both a return and something new for him. He has participated in the Syracuse and the Great South Bay half marathons. “I enjoy running,” Smith, a 41-year-old East Meadow resident, said. “I did track and field in school. I’ve completed a couple of 1/2 marathons, not a full.” David sees being part of Team Mission United as a chance to be a part of this prestigious annual…
Monday, October 4, 2021
Alyssa Alyssa Barbosa since 2016 has served as a member of the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton. She also works as a nursing assistant at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson. The 24-year-old Lindenhurst resident now brings the same focus and motivation to the New York City Marathon as a member of Team Mission United, raising suuport for veterans. “They told me the mission. I think it’s awesome,” Alyssa said of the United Way of Long Island’s Team Mission United. “I’m in the military and I would love to give back.”…
Friday, August 20, 2021
Thomas 2nd New York City Marathon An Army mechanic turned engineer turned marathon runner. This November, Thomas will run the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon as a member of Team Mission United.  When Thomas enlisted in the US Army, he took to running and discovered he had a strong lung capacity. Within months Thomas became the leader of his troop’s group runs, setting the pace and keeping his fellow soldiers motivated. Thomas served in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Combat Aviation Brigade as a helicopter crew chief and an in-flight mechanic for six years. Upon active duty retirement, he…
Friday, July 30, 2021
Bryan 1st New York City Marathon After serving in the U.S. Army for six years, Bryan is excited to join United Way of Long Island’s Team Mission United as he raises funds for veterans and Long Islanders affected by COVID-19 ahead of this fall's New York City Marathon. Following his graduation from the Merchant Marine Academy in 2007, Bryan was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado, where he served as a platoon leader. His Brigade was deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009 and remained overseas for more than a year. When…
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Nick 1st New York City Marathon After sailing in the Merchant Marine and spending eight years in the U.S. Navy Reserve, Nick is excited to join United Way of Long Island’s Team Mission United in support of veterans and Long Islanders affected by COVID-19 ahead of this fall's New York City Marathon. A Lindenhurst native, Nick attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy before sailing on commercial oil tankers for six years. Though he wasn’t active duty, he supported the troops by delivering tanks and MRAPS to U.S. forces in Kuwait. As Nick trains for the New York City Marathon, he is…
Francesca, Team Mission United Runner
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Francesca 1st New York City Marathon Back in college, many of Francesca’s friends were student-athletes on the Quinnipiac cross country team. She watched from afar as they ran competitively then, but today, they share laughs over the fact that the roles are reversed. Francesca is excited to join United Way of Long Island’s Team Mission United, raising funds for veterans and Long Islanders affected by COVID-19 ahead of this fall's New York City Marathon. Francesca is friends with nurses who were on the COVID-19 floors during the height of the pandemic, which allowed her to see the impact of…
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Kim 1st New York City Marathon Kim is excited to join United Way of Long Island’s Team Mission United, raising funds for veterans and Long Islanders affected by COVID-19 ahead of this fall's New York City Marathon. The cause hits close to home for Kim, whose stepfather completed three tours in Vietnam. Her grandfather also served in the Army, while one of her close friends is a Purple Heart recipient. Growing up in a military family, she came to appreciate veterans through their stories. “I completely believe in supporting veterans,” Kim said. “They’re protecting us, so once they’re out, it’…
Monday, November 2, 2020
Kristi 3 Ironman Triathlons  11 Marathons Completed, 2nd New York City Marathon  Program Director  Kristi is grateful to be on United Way of Long Island’s Team Mission United, raising funds for veterans and those affected by COVID-19 in her community.  In 2020, the New York City Marathon was cancelled due to the pandemic. Despite this, Kristi remained committed to fundraising for her community during their time of need; she also participated in the 2020 virtual run hosted by United Way. This year, she’s ready to continue representing Team Mission United when she races in the 2021 New York…