Master Gunnery Sergeant Charles “Chunks” Padilla deserves to win this Rare Life Award based on his dedication to this country as well as his continued support of injured Marines and their families.
During his 29 years of military service, Charles has been on countless recon missions, trained and led thousands of young soldiers and mastered a huge range of skills. In fact, Charles’s combined status as a Combat Diver, Parachutist, Army Ranger and Royal Marine Commando makes him the only "Quad Body" in the entire Marine Corps.
In his long distinguished service, his heart was never far from his wounded comrades. So when he was asked to run across the country to benefit the Semper Fi Fund for wounded soldiers, he response was simple “hell yeah, its for a good cause”.
The Gumpathon, taking its name from the famous Forrest Gump film's main character, was a run that stretched from New York to Los Angeles, across 3,530 miles including three deserts, four time zones and ten mountain ranges. "Master Guns" Padilla and his team of 6 ran an average of 20 grueling miles a day for three months. Charles helped to raise $50,555 for the Semper Fi Fund through this run.
The birthday of the Marine Corps took place during the Gumpathon, so in honor of the day, Charles decided he wanted to do something special and set out to run as many miles that day as he could. Charles ran an amazing 85 miles in one day to show his dedication to the Marine Corps and to raise awareness for injured service men and woman. The following day, Charles woke up with the same motivation and continued the Gumpathon with another 25 miles a day.
Charles has dedicated his entire life to serving this country to keep all of us safe. In his free time he raises awareness and money for the wounded service men and woman. His dedication to help others is an inspiration to us all. He has touched the lives of so many people and deserves recognition for his hard work and dedication.
This award is to honor someone who has shown courage, leadership, survival, devotion, character and heroism in leading a rare life. Charles represents these core values and is worthy to win the rare life award