[Here is a letter I received recently. Please, go out and support Operation One Voice. - Sarge]
I want to thank everyone that made the first year's of the Fallen Heroes of Georgia such a big success. The morning of the run was bit challenging due to the rain that refused to come a couple of hours later, but my thought on that was that soldiers defending our country have fought and died in worse weather. We had about 735 preregister total for all the races, and 650 or so came out the day of the race. If the weather had held, we would have most likely had 1,200+ come out for this first year run. That kind of support from our community really showed all those families of the fallen that came out that their Fallen Soldier has not been forgotten.
"Not being forgotten", that was the overwhelming message that I got from the conversations that I had with each of those fine families. They stood in the rain holding wet pictures, wearing a t-shirts listing their fallen family, and with a look of unimaginable grief on their faces, thanked everyone for coming out and showing their support. These families are not looking for much, just the affirmation that their loved one didn't die for a nation that is forgetful, but a nation of patriots who show their respect and never ever forgets.
I had the honor of taking a mother of one of the fallen to her son's sign. As we drove down that wet road she kept seeing all those signs that lined the course listing one soldier after another, and just couldn't get over how many there were and how most of them were so young. She told me the date that her son died a couple of times because I was getting emotional at what I was having the honor of being a part of, so I was having a hard time putting much of any thing to memory. Then as we were talking, I could tell that she was looking at me wondering why we had stopped. It was then she looked up to see that we had finally found her son's sign, and she let out an exhale that was shaken by her tears that she couldn't hold back. That mom walked up to her son's sign, touched it, said hello, and a few word to her son that only her and her son could hear. She then stood tall and wet to the bone, looked back down the road where the runners were coming from to show them "that this young man here is my son". I then thought of the words an army soldier from the day before had said "well if it rains, then it will just help hide the tears".
With that in mind, I am working on the dates for next years run along with a hopefully drier forecast, and will have that out as soon as possible. Next year we will be doing more to honor these soldiers, and I am looking forward to seeing everyone there.
One more thing, families of the fallen have been sending me biographies of their fallen soldiers. Once that is completed, I will be sending it out, so please take the time to read it so that you are able to put a story with the name. I promise you it will be worth your time.
Thank you and God Bless,
Operation One Voice - Supporting families of fallen & wounded Special Operations Forces