Sunday, 8 September 2013, several of us at The Roofing and Remodeling Company came together to join other walkers and runners in Virginia Beach for the 9/11 Heroes Run 5K and 1 mile fun run.
“THE 9/11 HEROES RUN UNITES COMMUNITIES INTERNATIONALLY WITH THE GOAL TO NEVER FORGET THE SACRIFICES OF THE HEROES OF SEPTEMBER 11TH AND IN THE WARS SINCE: VETERAN, FIRST RESPONDER, CIVILIAN, AND MILITARY. JOIN US TO RAISE AWARENESS AND HONOR THE FALLEN.” (taken from http://www.travismanion.org/tmf_911run_race/virginia-beach-911-heroes-run/)
The 5K race started punctually at 9:11 am with a loud sound of the horn and off we went following the marked cross-country trail. What seemed to be about every quarter of a mile or so, a friendly greeter was there to cheer us on and tell us about how much we had left to go. Talk about motivation!!! It was great!
Early on into the 5K, a group of soldiers marching together passed us. There were twelve men in uniform and wearing backpacks. Four of the soldiers carried a dummy called “Rescue Randy” in a military stretcher and then every so often switched up with the others. Rescue Randy is to honor those that have fallen and they carried him to remind us that no man gets left behind. What an honor it was to see this in person! “No man left behind” is a statement that hits right home in the heart, especially when you see it first hand. It was also interesting to see how they coordinated it all together calling out commands and answering back. They sure had their work cut out for them. I can’t imagine how heavy that dummy was if the average male probably weighs between 150-200 pounds. Anyone want to take a guess?
After crossing the finish line we received our medal, a thick silver dog tag, 2013 written in big numbers with 9/11 Heros Run in Virginia Beach on it. Proudly as we put ours around our neck, we were each greeted by a smiling volunteer handing out a bottle of water and a banana.
This is one event, among many, The Roofing and Remodeling Company feels very passionate about, having almost half of their staff either Military Veterans or others who have grown up in a military family. Here they are, with a well-rounded mix from different service branches. COAST GUARD: Ralph Martin; ARMY: Brian Chalsma, Teresa Chalsma and Don Wymer; AIR FORCE: Mel Forbes, Cara Theiss, Adrian Banks, Debbie Peterman, and Mike Lockwood; NAVY: Pete Johnson. Not a big surprise considering the Hampton Roads area is a highly populated military community.