Georgia Run For The Fallen ends in Columbus and Fort Benning
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – Over the weekend, a group teamed up to run over 150 miles in the Georgia Run For The Fallen. We were there when they reached the finish line in Columbus, as were some of the family of heroes who died fighting for our country.
Completing their 164 mile journey, running for 2.5 days through Peach State, they chanted, âWhy are we running? Because we can! “
This is all to draw attention to the nearly 800 soldiers with ties to Georgia who have died in service since October 2000. For these runners, it’s personal.
âMy father was in Vietnam in the army. My grandfather was a WWII navy veteran. My brother was in special forces, âsaid runners coordinator Amber King, whose father was killed in action.
GA Run for the Fallen Director Candice King said, âI lost my son, Specialist Ryan King, on May 1, 2009 in Afghanistan.
This Gold Star mom, as the director of the 3rd annual event, said they started running at the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Milledgeville, and the group ended up at the World War on Terrorism Memorial in National Infantry Museum next to Fort Benning.
Every 0.8-1 mile of the long drive, the racing team stopped at a âHero Markerâ to pay their respects to fallen family members of heroes.
âTheir memory is still alive as long as there is someone speaking their name,â said Candice King.
Parents, like those who lost their SPC son Frederick Jenkins III to Columbus in 2015, received Honor and Remember flags, personalized with the name of their deceased hero.
âIt’s just phenomenal. These runners come from all over the United States, and they dedicate their time and their physical abilities to the dead, it’s an honorâ¦ I don’t have the words, âsaid Lisa Jenkins, mom of Gold Star.
Speaking of the pain and the persistence of running all those miles, Air Force & GA Reservist Run For the Fallen, said Michael Taylor. “This is not compared to the pain and suffering of losing a loved one.”
âHow do these families continue? And if they can continue, so can we, âsaid Candice King.
âIt takes a lot of diligence, a lot of courage, a team effort to cover all these kilometers. It’s a lot of heaviness when we think we have a memorial at every kilometer, âsaid Amber King.
âAt the 1st mile when I got to read the mileage and see the family of the dead, emotions hit and that’s what made me back down,â said Taylor, a runner who served in the military. for 28 years.
And to each Gold Star family they honor, the crew of Georgia Run For The Fallen once again presents a special Honor and Remember flag, for “the unwavering dedication and selfless service of their patriot.”
âI know I fly mine on my son’s birthday. I am piloting him on the anniversary of his death, âsaid Candice King.
The Patriot Riders escorted them along the path. Georgia is one of 20 states with these Runs for the Fallen.
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