The Keeping TIME Story
It started with two shirts.
Tom’s sister Sarah and her friend Jennifer were gearing up to run the Hogeye Marathon in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2012 — Sarah’s first full marathon. They wanted to wear Tom’s name as both a memorial — and motivation! They made two shirts. One for each of them. A simple DIY iron-on project for what they thought would be a one-day thing. The back was easy — the Foundation logo. And for the front they chose a simple NEVER QUIT, inspired by Tom’s attitude during Army Ranger School in 2006. “Don’t quit. Make them carry you out.”
Sarah and Jennifer ran the marathon — a particularly memorable experience due to severe weather — and enjoyed volunteers and spectators seeing their shirts and cheering NEVER QUIT! Tom’s spirit of determination was exactly what they needed during a grueling race.
Shortly thereafter, friends of the Martin family started asking if they could get NEVER QUIT shirts, too. The Foundation had a handful printed and they were gone almost immediately. They did another order, and they were just as popular.
Project Keeping TIME was born.
Keeping TIME stands for Keeping Tom In Mind Everywhere. It was a simple way to give this idea a name — take Tom with you. Wear his name and his NEVER QUIT attitude and go do your thing. Do something new or challenging or scary or fun. And Keep Tom in mind.
Today there are Keeping TIME shirts all over the world. The Foundation and the Martin Family have received hundreds of photos and stories sharing Tom’s NEVER QUIT spirit — some from those who knew and loved Tom, and many, many more from those who never met him. It has been an incredible way to see how Tom is still inspiring people to push a little further and laugh a little harder.
In 2015, the Martins returned to the Hogeye Marathon. The Foundation volunteered at the very last aid station before the finish line — the point at which the marathoners needed that NEVER QUIT more than ever. We were honored to be back where Keeping TIME began. Photos of our day can be found on Facebook by clicking HERE.