OFS hosted a special 5K/10K at Cool Springs on Saturday. The event raised money to assist the national organization Honor & Remember’s mission to recognize and honored military veterans who have died while on duty or otherwise since the inception of our country.
A 13-mile ruck was also held in recognition of the sacrifice of the 13 military servicemembers killed during the pullout of Afghanistan. Participants in the ruck also completed 22 pullups and pushups to recognize the, on average, 22 veterans who commit suicide each day.
Here are some photos of the event.
Participants were greeted by the garrison flag held aloft by the Jasper and Huntingburg Volunteer Fire Departments’ ladder trucks. The race began and ended under the ceremonial flag. (Photos Matt Crane.)
Lance Cpl. Alec Terwiske’s mother, Sandy, was presented with an Honor and Remember Flag during the opening ceremony of the Honor & Remember Run. Lance Cpl. Terwiske was killed in combat on September 3, 2012. This Saturday will be the 10-year anniversary of his death. “I am so honored that he is remembered today,” Ms. Terwiske said during the event.
Participants gathered under the flag for the National Anthem prior to the race.
This is the second year of the event, and organizers estimated the turnout had tripled over the inaugural year.
Addison Evitts, 11, carries an Honor & Remember Flag while running the 5k with her father, Marine Corps veteran Eric Evitts (out of photo). The flags are available for any service member who has died, regardless of the circumstances. “The goal is to remember every single military member who has dedicated their lives to our nation,” Mr. Evitts said during opening remarks at the event.
Angie Greulich and her daughter, Lucy (9), ran the 5k together on Saturday. The routes utilized the paved paths as well as dirt trails around the Cool Springs property.
Mark Kramer, a U.S. Army veteran, completed his pushups during the grueling 13-mile ruck. Participants in the ruck carried a pack throughout the race with varying amounts of weight. Some held 20 pounds while others carried up to 65 pounds (a tactical loadout). Organizer Ryan Menke said he was enthused at the 20 to 30 people taking part in the ruck compared to the previous year which only saw a handful taking on the challenge.
Aiden Nord, 15, ran the 10k carrying Lance Cpl. Alec Terwiske’s Honor & Remember Flag. He accomplished his goal of being the first runner to cross the finish line. “I felt like I was running for something besides myself,” he said afterward. “Something a little bit bigger than me.”
Sara Betz completed the pull-ups for her portion of the 13-mile ruck. She was participating in honor of her son, Caden Betz, who is currently serving in Guam as a member of a Construction Battalion (Seabee) Detachment.