­­Run, walk or roll event honors fallen service members

| September 11, 2015 | 0 Comments
Participants of the Fisher House Hero and Rememberance Run, Walk or Roll event at Ford Island, Saturday, pay respect to service members who have given their lives since Sept. 11, 2001. They were represented by the more than 7,000 combat boots that lined the 8K route.(Photos by Navy Seaman Johans Chavarro and Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

Participants of the Fisher House Hero and Rememberance Run, Walk or Roll event at Ford Island, Saturday, pay respect to service members who have given their lives since Sept. 11, 2001. They were represented by the more than 7,000 combat boots that lined the 8K route. (Photos by Navy Seaman Johans Chavarro and Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal)

Air Force Staff Sgt. Chris Hubenthal
Defense Media Activity-Hawaii News Bureau
FORD ISLAND — Several thousand runners gathered, here, to honor service members who have fallen after 9/11 as part of the 8K Fisher House Hero and Remembrance Run, Walk or Roll, Saturday.

B1_Fisher_House_Run_Boots_closeupThe Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving medical treatment, according to its official website. The 8K event was another way the foundation aimed to serve military families.

Origins
After losing a family friend (Pfc. Timothy Vimoto) in 2007, Theresa Johnson, Fort Hood Fisher House manager and founder of the Hero and Remembrance Run, started the event several years later to honor the memory of those who have fallen and those who serve.

“In 2012, sometime in early spring, my son was actually getting ready to go on his deployment,” Johnson said. “Knowing that Timothy had died several years prior, we think about his family every day. I realized that it could be me.

B1_Fisher_House_Run_runners“I’m a mother of a Soldier and a wife of a Soldier. I just wanted to do something to honor Tim’s sacrifice and his life, but also honor the service of my husband and my son. That’s where it all began,” she explained.

More than 7,000 combat boots, each adorned with a photo of a fallen service member, lined the 8K running route to honor the memories and the sacrifices of the military men and women who gave their lives while serving their country.

“I wanted to do a unique run that would raise awareness, but also bring the personal names and faces back,” Johnson said. “What we did was we created the run, and we had a picture of each fallen service member on the boot that you run past. After the run is over, we pick them up, and there will actually be a display of the 7,000 all at once.”

Katie Garling, a runner during the Hero and Remembrance Run, Walk or Roll event, lost her husband, a major in the U.S. Army, on July 11, 2014, and ran in the event to honor him.

“He was a big runner, and since he passed, I’ve been doing a lot more running, and I joined the Survivor Outreach Services group here, and there were a group of us that ran today,” Garling said.

“He was a really strong person, and I get on with my life every day because I know that’s what he would want me to do,” Garling continued. “I think there is no better motivation than seeing all of the boots lined up and honoring the people who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. When you’re tired, just looking at those boots is motivating to make yourself want to keep going.”
Anita Clingerman, Tripler Fisher House manager, hopes that the event helps let military families know that Fisher House is there for them.

“It’s one way to tell people that we’re here,” Clingerman said. “There are so many people who don’t know what Fisher House is, and this is a great way to spread the word and let our military families know that we’re here for them. Just talking about the run you get emotional; they paid the ultimate price. I’m honored to be a part of this run.”

Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal U.S. Air Force Hickam honor guard members render honors during the Fisher House Hero and Remembrance Run, Walk or Roll event at Ford Island, Sept. 5. More than 7,000 combat boots were placed along the 8K route, each adorned with a photo of a service member who gave his or her life while serving our country after 9/11.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Christopher Hubenthal
U.S. Air Force Hickam honor guard members render honors during the Fisher House Hero and Remembrance Run, Walk or Roll event at Ford Island, Sept. 5. More than 7,000 combat boots were placed along the 8K route, each adorned with a photo of a service member who gave his or her life while serving our country after 9/11.

Johnson is proud of the teamwork and camaraderie volunteers and participants show during these events.

“This is our fourth here in Hawaii. I couldn’t be more proud because this event is not a fundraiser; everything is done by volunteers. It really is a community event where different businesses have reached out to help us.

“All this is done by volunteers, from moms with babies strapped on their front and back and service members from all branches,” Johnson explained. “My heart is just overflown right now. This is bringing everybody together.”

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Category: Community, Community Relations, Observances

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