Jared West is a 1998 Pryor High School graduate who has spent the past eight years serving in the Navy on a submarine.
On Jan. 4 and 5, West ran the Ragnar Relay Series from Miami to Key West, Fla., for a total of 196.9 miles. A Ragnar team includes six to 12 runners. Each individual runs three legs. The legs of the race vary in difficulty and distance, from 3-8 miles, allowing elite and novice runners to run together. Over two days and one night, teams run across 200 miles of the country’s most scenic terrain. The website says some call it a slumber party without sleep, pillows or deodorant.
West raised a total of $16,632 for Wounded Warriors Outdoors, a non-profit organization that takes wounded veterans hunting and fishing.
West’s running in any race is remarkable. In 2000 a snowboarding accident in Crested Butte, Colo., shattered his left leg. He had two 13-inch plates and 28 two-inch screws placed in the leg, where they would remain for the next three years to heal. This caused West some great financial debt, as he had no health insurance at the time.
Vocational Rehabilitation made it possible for West to have the plates and screws removed from his leg. This was not Vocational Rehabilitation enacted by Congress to help veterans with service-related disabilities. Other rehabilitation services are available for those with injuries not related to the service.
West joined the Navy calling it, “One of the best decisions I ever made.”
West said life on a submarine, while cramped, can be good. “The food is excellent,” said West. “Every Sunday we have steak and lobster for dinner.”
He has taken college courses on the submarien, earning an associate’s degree.
“About 95 percent of my studying has been done on the submarine,” said West.
West, who has a rank of STS1 (SS), said his duties on the submarine involve a great deal of math and critical thinking.