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'Run for the Fallen' is heading to
Ellaville, Buena Vista, Cusseta, etc.
tel:18559425629

From the Sept. 22, 2021 issue
of The Journal

By Richard Harris
   The Georgia Run for the Fallen event will be passing through our area the first weekend of October and local residents/organizations are welcome to support the event or to just come out and cheer for the runners.
   This is a special event to call attention to and honor the men and women who have died in military service to America since the bombing of the USS Cole on October 12, 2020. A core team of runners will embark on a 160 plus-mile journey to honor military service members with ties to Georgia who died as a result of serving during the War on Terror and in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation New Dawn.
   The event will kick off on Friday, October 1 at Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Milledgeville. The 160-mile run will continue thru Gordon, Jeffersonville, Warner Robins, Kathleen, Fort Valley, Montezuma, Ellaville, Buena Vista, and Cusseta, before finishing at the Global War on Terrorism Memorial at the Infantry Museum at Ft. Benning on October 3rd in the late afternoon.

   The group is expected to arrive in Ellaville at the downtown Blue Star Memorial Park around 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2. They will depart for the final day of the event from the same spot Sunday, Oct. 3 at 7 a.m.
   The runners will be in downtown Buena Vista (Highway 26, passing by the Marion County Courthouse) around 9:40 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3.
   They expect to pass by Chattahoochee County High School in Cusseta around 12:25 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3.
   "We do encourage people to join us along the route," said Candice King, Georgia Chapter Director for Honor & Remember and Gold Star Mother. "The runners get an energy boost when there is support along the way. Water or Gatorade/Powerade are always welcome."
   Each mile of the route will be dedicated to Georgia heroes and their families. The run team will stop at each "Hero Marker" along the way (about every 0.8 mile) to give individual tribute to waiting Fallen Hero family members, friends, and comrades. The goal of the event is to create a 160-mile memorial trail through Georgia. Each hero marker tribute will include the reading of the name, rank, branch, and date of death for each hero being honored at the that marker with American and Honor and Remember Flags.
   While encouragement is welcome anywhere along the route, those who are interested in finding out exactly where their special fallen hero's marker will be located may find out online at georgia.usarunforthefallen.org/heroes/
   Candice King added that she is proud to be a part of the group for a number of reasons.
   "I like the mission of the organization," she said. "Honor & Remember honors all fallen regardless of circumstance or era, we have given flags to families of MIA from Korea, Vietnam veterans who died of agent orange related cancer, Burn Pit related deaths, PTSD. … For the Run for the Fallen, we honor those we've lost since the USS Cole regardless of circumstance, if it was service related or while serving, we honor them by calling their name at our Hero Markers."
   Readers who may be interested in supporting the event may do so in many ways. Donations are accepted to help fund the annual event (RV rentals, hotel rooms, T-shirts, food, gas, insurance, permits, etc.). Any donations remaining are used for personalized Honor & Remember Flags for families in Georgia.
   If interested in personally volunteering, more info may be found at runforthefallen.org/volunteer
   "As a Gold Star Mom it means so much to know someone somewhere remembers my son for the hero he was and always will be," said King, noting that she knows others fell the same way.
   Following is info about her son: "SPC Ryan Charles King (Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team,1st Infantry Division ) was KIA in Afghanistan on May 1st, 2009. He was the oldest of three boys and the best big brother. His first love was baseball and the Atlanta Braves. As a freshman in high school, he was influenced by the events of 9/11 and decided then to join the Army when he graduated. Ryan was born at 11 am on Veterans Day in 1986, which was another sign to him that he was meant to be a soldier. He served 1 tour in Korea, where he met Rachel, who would later become his wife. They both deployed to Afghanistan in the summer of 2008, after Ryan had trained to become a cryptologist, which unfortunately put him in some very dangerous situations.  He was due to come home in 28 days when he was killed at an outpost near the village of Nishagam.  We know he was proud to be a soldier and was doing what he believed in, this gives us comfort in his absence."
   For more info visit georgia.usarunforthefallen.org.