An Honor

While I consider myself to be a runner, I in no way qualify as being an elite in any race I enter.  I would not have run the NYC Marathon this year had it been held, and I am unlikely to ever qualify for Boston.  I have completed 3 marathons and 4 half marathons.

This weekend, I will be running the half marathon that is part of the Soldier Marathon at Ft. Benning, Georgia.  (The Soldier Marathon is offering free entry to anyone who was registered for NYC, and that is pretty cool of them.)  One reason I chose this race was its proximity to home; it is a mere 3 hours or so from here.  I also wanted to have the opportunity to run, at least part of the time, on the Army base up there.  As a civilian, there is something pretty cool anytime I have an opportunity to make it on to a military installation, and with my friend no longer active in the Navy, the opportunities are fewer now; no more weekend trip to hang out and try to stay out of trouble.

The main reason I am running this race this weekend is the “Fallen Hero” program that is attached to the event.  The program allows runners to run in honor of anybody who has served and is no longer with us (it is not required that the Fallen Hero to have been killed in action).

This weekend, I will be running in honor of my friend and fraternity brother, Captain John Tinsley.  John was killed in Afghanistan on August 12, 2009 when an IED exploded near his vehicle while on patrol.  John was a member of Company B, 2nd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), and is survived by his wife and daughter.  John was one of the first people I met when I decided to join a fraternity, and we were in the same pledge class.  He could party with the best of them, and was one of the most reliable and loyal people I have ever known.  I saw his wife and daughter at a 5k in September, and I cannot imagine the pain they still have every day since John’s passing.  I am honored and privileged to run with John’s picture on my race bib this weekend, and not a day goes by that I do not remember his sacrifice for our country and the sacrifice of his family, as well as the sacrifice made by all those who have fallen and their families. 




5 Responses to An Honor

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  3. George Boxley says:

    Thanks for the thread. The Fallen Soldier was a wow moment in my life. I ran in honor of my father-in-law who served in the Korean war. I never met my father-in-law, but he was a honorable and decent man. He built his house with his own hands and loved to fish. He had 4 wonderful kids and I married one of his daughters. I was blessed to have ran The Soldier Marathon. Awesome course, support crews at the aid stations were as good as any. Great finish.
    Again, Thanks!

    • TommyK says:

      I agree. The opportunity to run to honor someone who paid the ultimate price for our country is something that I will always cherish. Everything about the event was amazing, and it is one that I recommend for any runner. I know that I will be running it again next year, and I will tour the National Infantry Museum again, and just take it all in.
      I am thankful for your father-in-law and for his service.

      Thank you for commenting!

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