#DoYouGiveARuck? Local woman’s inspiring story after joining nonprofit organization

Brittany Norair
Brittany Norair

There’s a nonprofit organization called “Do You Give A Ruck,” or “#DoYouGiveARuck” also known as “DYGAR,” that is designed to promote local businesses, veterans, and to feed the homeless.

Sebastian Daily is currently involved with Advocates to End Homelessness in Indian River County to help the homeless in our community with the necessary items that they need.

So, we really appreciate an organization like DYGAR getting involved. They rely on local sponsors and individual participants to raise money for other organizations.

We recently saw a story that Brittany Norair wrote on Facebook about why she joined DYGAR. The story is very inspiring.

Brittany Norair
Brittany Norair

“I found out about DYGAR from my friend Jimmy Lee. I saw his social media blowing up about this rucking stuff, which I had no idea what it was about,” Norair said.

The more Norair learned, the more she was going to get involved. Last July, she decided to “give a ruck” and attend an event. She took her camera to capture what Jimmy Lee and his team were doing to share it on social media.

However, a week before the event, she got some bad news about her back. She was experiencing back pain and wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to participate in the event. Either way, Norair planned on taking photos.

“When I got there, I didn’t care about my back pain. I cared about what a great group of people who were coming together to help their community,” Norair said.

“With that being said, my addictive personality kicked in immediately, and I wanted to be a bigger part of this. I was hooked. I definitely gave a ruck. I rucked 4 miles while taking photos and flying my drone for the first time. It was such a great event,” Norair added.

Brittany Norair
Brittany Norair

Norair said a few days after the event, Jimmy Lee and the Board invited her to the team as a “combat” photographer. Norair says the opportunity came at a perfect time.

She also has a story to tell about her very inspiring background.

“I am an alcoholic, and I had to find that out by losing my marriage and getting two DUIs (driving while intoxicated) after losing my father to a heart attack. This all happened within four years. I spiraled all the way down to the basement of my rock-bottom. After my second DUI, the Indian River court system offered me a program called drug court. This is a program where they try to rehabilitate you in an outpatient setting. I began that journey on 8/22/18, the last day I drank. I am 525 days sober today,” Norair said.

She was very nervous approaching the end of the year-long program. So, she was really worried about relapse.

“I really worried about not having the accountability of the program to keep me sober. And then, just as always, God gave me exactly what I needed. Right when I didn’t know what was next, DYGAR showed me what was next. Little did this team know; they were giving me a reason to keep fighting for my sobriety and myself. My love for photography has been renewed. My 12 step of service has been fulfilled. And anytime I am struggling or celebrating, I have my team, and my family, standing by me,” Norair said.

Brittany Norair
Brittany Norair

Norair says a person doesn’t have to be a veteran or someone with PTSD to be part of the team.

“You can pray to God or to your rifle, and we will still welcome you. We come from all walks of life. None of our roads were easy, but our journeys are easier together. This is why I am part of DYGAR. So this divorced 34-year-old with two DUIs is now sober, saved, a Board Member, and hopeful for the future,” she said.

Brittany Norair
Brittany Norair

Thank you for sharing your incredible story with us Brittany Norair.

To learn more about #DoYouGiveARuck, visit their website or Facebook page.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland. When he was age 9, his parents moved to Jupiter, Florida. Andy spent several years at various radio & television stations in Florida such as WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. In 1994, Andy made a career change to computer programming and worked for several technology companies (two are Fortune 500) in Atlanta, Georgia. However, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2002. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.