RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -
On Saturday, more than 1,200 people participated in the third annual Virginia War Memorial 5k Run-Walk to Remember. The event was to honor and remember the sacrifices of America’s veterans and active military personnel.
Hundreds of service-members from every branch of the military ran in uniform and in formation to honor their colleagues. Nearly a thousand active duty soldiers traveled from Ft. Lee for the event.
Gearing up for his fifth deployment, army Staff Sergeant Patrick Thomas said the run was a morale booster for him. But it was also to pay his respects to those who served before him. “For me to be able to deploy and come home and a lot of my brothers didn't come home. So it's a lot of honor and respect for the fallen and for the veterans who paved the way for myself [me].”
U.S. Army Captain Yolanda Wright said she ran to show support for fallen soldiers and their families, but also to give hope soldiers currently serving overseas. “I think they'll be motivated. I think it'll lift their spirits up because we're out here for them also, the ones that are still over there fighting and sacrificing their lives.”
This year is the first time U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Deana Downard ran in the 5K. She also had her fellow colleagues on her mind. "We're taking care of the home front while they're taking care of the other front.”
Dozens of civilians also showed support by participating. Denise Lindsey grew up in a military family. Her father fought in Vietnam and her grandfather was at Pearl Harbor. She said it means a lot that she can show support too. "You know it warms my heart to just kind of follow in my dad and grandfather's footsteps in whatever little way I can,” Lindsey said.
Money raised from the 5k will benefit the Virginia War Memorial Educational Foundation’s programs and exhibits.