Story Number: NNS140828-10Release Date: 8/28/2014 9:13:00 AM
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ashley Hedrick, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay Public Affairs
KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay finished its Run for the Fallen held by the Kings Bay Fitness Complex Aug. 21.
Throughout Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, 6,805 service members died in battle. The men and women were fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters to many families across the nation.
As a way to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, runners around the world paid tribute to the war heroes by participating in the Run for the Fallen.
The national event began Flag Day, June 14, 2008, when a team of runners ran across America from Fort Irwin, California, to Arlington National Cemetery. Pictures of deceased service members marked each mile of the trek in remembrance of what they did for our nation.
"We do this for all who have sacrificed their lives for what we believe in," Cpl. Jacob Meyers of Marine Corps Security Force Battalion Kings Bay said. "Anybody that we love, that we know who has been to combat and has fallen, it's all in remembrance of them."
Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay finished its Run for the Fallen held by the Kings Bay Fitness Complex Aug. 21. The event began June 18 with a 5K run. From June to August each command or individual was asked to log and record their miles. In the end, each mile is tallied to see which command had the most miles.
Heather McCormick, Navy Adventures Unleashed coordinator said the event is held to honor those who have fallen but those who have served should be saluted too.
"It is important to remember those who are serving our country, whether they are currently serving or they've died in battle," McCormick said. "Kings Bay does this run in honor of them."
The closing ceremony started the Kings Bay event with the presentations of colors, a morning prayer, and words of guest speaker Erick Millette, a wounded warrior who participates in the Warrior's Speak program. Marines displayed a representation of a battle cross. Its purpose was to show honor and respect for fallen service members
Cmdr. Ed Callahan, Naval Submarine Base Kings Base executive officer, spoke to the runners before the race.
"With every step you take, with every breath you take, with every heartbeat, you're doing it for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice," he said.
The Kings Bay runners were given small reminders of who they were running for. Changes also were made to this year's run to make it more symbolic.
"This year we handed out dog tags with the names of the fallen," McCormick said. "It was something to remind them as they were running. We also put out stakes with the battlefield cross on them, which represented a fallen service member."
After the run, an Honor and Remember Flag was awarded to the command which logged the most miles. MCSFBn Kings Bay earned first place with a total of 3,452 miles. Commander, Submarine Squadron 16 came in second with 1,670 miles, and Maritime Force Protection Unit was third with 1,428 miles.
From June 18 to Aug. 21, a total of 15,287.91 miles were logged by Kings Bay service members in honor of those who have fallen in battle.
For more news from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., visit www.navy.mil/local/subasekb/.