PEASE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.H. --
Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Dick Hoyt told stories of perseverance and overcoming adversity as part of his presentation during this year’s National Prayer Breakfast hosted by the 157th Chaplain Corps here, April 2, 2017.
Since competing in their first race together 35 years ago, the father and son duo, Team Hoyt, broke barriers by competing in over 1,100, athletic events including marathons, duathlons and triathlons.
During his presentation, Hoyt talked about his son Rick who was born with cerebral palsy and is wheelchair bound, and the struggles they faced throughout their competition career.
“We decided we wanted to run the Boston marathon. So, we applied to the Boston Athletic Association and they turned us down, saying, we were different than everybody else,” said Hoyt. “What they did say is you can line up behind us and run, and that is what we did.”
Col. James Ryan, 157th Air Refueling Wing commander, talked about the power of positive thought while introducing Hoyt to a crowded room of military members and guests who were enjoying a breakfast prepared by the 157th Force Support Squadron.
“Every morning when we wake up, we have the choice of how we see the world, we can choose to see what is wrong, or what is right,” said Ryan.
The team continued to overcome adversities and compete helping them earn an ESPY award, as well as inductions into the Ford Ironman World Championship hall of fame, and the Marine Corps Marathon hall of fame.
“This is truly an awesome show of inspiration,” said Ryan. “It’s all about perspective and how we see things, and realizing no matter what our situation may seem like, that we can overcome it.”
Through miles and miles of competing, Hoyt said seeing his son’s excitement while crossing the finish line made it all worth it.
“I’d like you all to think of three small, three-lettered words, Yes You Can,” said Hoyt. “There is no such word as can’t.”
Over the past twenty years airman at Pease Air National Guard Base have participated in the annual prayer breakfast where they are given the opportunity to come together in a spiritual event outside of the Chapel. Tech Sgt. Siddartha Sosa Rodriguez, chaplain’s assistant, 157th Chaplain’s Corps, said
“It is an excellent example of Airman Fitness. It’s an opportunity for the Chaplain’s office to bring people together primarily for the spiritual aspect of their fitness.”