November 12, 2012 by bdetienne
Today is Veteran’s Day, a day set aside to honor those who have worn a military service uniform. It means a lot to me because my father and both grandfathers, three men I look up to most in my life, all served in the military. I did not follow in their footsteps but I aspire to show my thanks to them in some way each year. This year provided a unique yet wonderful way to show my appreciation to them and other servicemen and servicewomen: the Veterans Day 10K.
The Veterans Day 10K/5k/1 mile Race was an event sponsored by the KU ROTC program and the KU Alumni Association to support scholarships for disabled veterans and their family members (I believe it’s associated with the Wounded Warrior Project) and the KU memorials fund. What better way to say thank you than to participate in this race and aid towards this great cause?
The race itself was challenging to say the least. The terrain was somewhat hilly and due to an error by the event staff, the run was actually close to 6.5 miles but what made things difficult was the weather. The evil trifecta of cold, windy, and rainy surfaced and as we were ascending one hill towards mile 5, some of the rain turned to ice pellets. That doesn’t feel good (even when you are going at a slow rate of speed). To make matters worse, the race route passed by a couple of frat houses and the smell of bacon hung in the air like a fog. C’mon man! Thankfully, my friends in the race and I were able to power through and finish the race strong.
I was proud of our accomplishment, but I was even more proud of the soldiers (and soldiers-to-be) who helped out with the event. Several were posted along the race route guiding the runners as well as standing guard at the three war memorials on appropriately named Memorial Drive, taking the elements in stride during the event. I was taken back by their stoic faces, standing at attention while we ran by. I cannot imagine how miserable they felt- at least we were able to stay moderately warm by the continual running motion!
Whether it’s a race, a letter, a contribution, or a simple gratitude, be sure to show your thanks to servicepeople in your life for serving our country. Thanks to them putting country ahead of individual, we enjoy freedom and safety in America that many other places in the world do not.