Run brings military, community together

By: MC1 Corwin Colbert
September 15, 2017
Ho'okele News
Thousands of military personnel and the community honored American heroes during the Fisher House 8K Hero and Remembrance Run, Walk or Roll 2017 on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam’s Ford Island, Sept. 9.

The event marked the six-year anniversary that honors fallen service members who lost their lives in combat since 9/11.

The run took place on an overcast day, but it didn’t stop the thousands in attendance from showing up. Strollers, veteran runners and families from both the community and military were out in full force.

The run opened with welcoming remarks from prominent members of the military, including Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam commander Capt. Jeff Bernard and Tripler Army Medical Center’s Hospital Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy Sloan. They thanked those who attended and those who donated and contributed to the Fisher House charity organization.

“Thank you all who have supported the Fisher House and those who came out here to support this run,” Sloan said. “All of this does make a difference.”

Preparation started a few days before with hundreds of volunteers who lined more than 7,600 boots around Ford Island on the 8K-route. Each of the boots had its own picture of fallen service members, to give the boots a personal touch.

This year they added boots from other service members who weren’t killed in action (KIA) and displayed separately the lives lost from the 25th Cavalry, USS McCain and USS Fitzgerald.

“We also included with those who were KIA, service members lost during training evolutions,” said Theresa Johnson, the Fort Hood Fisher House manager and founder of the Hero and Remembrance Run. “We also included lives lost to suicide. As long as they served honorably we have included them.”

Johnson, who previously lived on the island and then moved to Texas, thanked everyone in attendance including those who came with her from Fort Hood.

“I couldn’t have done this without all the support and effort from the community, volunteers and the military,” she said. “No matter what service you are in, we are all one family and we are here to honor our fallen heroes.”