Wear blue: run to remember is a national nonprofit running community that honors the service and sacrifice of service members, according to its website. The group creates a support network for members of the military and their Families and bridges the gap between the military and civilian communities.
The Fort Bragg chapter of wear blue: run to remember will set up a mile-long, living memorial at this year’s All-American Marathon or Mike-to-Mike Half Marathon, March 26. The wear blue Mile pays tribute to fallen service members in two phases. First, the ‘faces of the fallen’ will be captured in posters lining the course. Second, volunteers will hold American flags adorned with a streamer bearing the name of a fallen service member.
The mile marker will be set up after mile nine, as runners approach the Sante Fe exit, said Col. Dave Leach, co-leader of the organization’s Fort Bragg chapter, and a Fort Bragg Soldier who serves as director, J7, Joint Special Operations Command. Ashley Maggard, an active-duty spouse, serves as co-lead and has been involved with wear blue: run to remember chapters at Fort Bragg and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, said Leach.
The wear blue Mile will consist of more than 200 faces and names, which is a small sampling of the more than 6,800 fallen service members since 2001, he explained.
Registration for the poster/ribbon tribute must be completed by Feb. 25 at www.wearblueruntoremember.org/all-american-marathon. The registration does not, however, cover registration for the actual race. Registration for the All-American Marathon must be completed at www.allamericanmarathon.com.
In addition to the marathon, wear blue: run to remember takes part in weekly meet-up runs, typically on Saturdays. Leach said the Fort Bragg chapter meets Saturdays at Clark Park, in Fayetteville, to honor the fallen with runs along the Cape Fear River Trail. Visit www.wearblueruntoremember.org/meet-ups for more information. Additionally, the organization participates in a national memorial event on Memorial Day each year.
Wear blue: run to remember was founded by Lisa Hallett and Erin O’Connor at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, following the death of Hallett’s husband, Capt. John Hallett, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009.
Today, the organization draws membership from service members and their Families, retirees, wounded warriors, Gold Star Families and community members nationwide.
For more information about the wear blue: run to remember Fort Bragg chapter, like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Wear-blue-run-to-remember-Fort-Bragg-Chapter-148243531984937/?fref=nf.
To volunteer to hold a flag along the course or to request a poster of a fallen service member, visit www.wearblueruntoremember.org or contact Dave Leach at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ashley Maggard at email@example.com.