On Saturday, Fort Hood hosted its first Fallen, Never Forgotten Memorial Run near Division West headquarters. Some came to run hard and earn first, second or third place in their age category while others had a leisurely jog while pushing a stroller or walking a dog. Nine running clubs and six units were represented in the 522 people registered for the competitive races.
Spread over the 10-kilometer route were five memorial sites to encourage quiet reflection. The event was a collaborative effort between the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation and other Fort Hood entities.
Leslie Love, a senior spouse adviser with Fort Hood’s Survivor Outreach Services, was the key organizer behind the memorial run, which featured competitive 10k and 5k races, plus recreational 1-mile and 3k runs or walks.
The event grew out of her husband’s squadron command at Fort Hood when he lost 10 soldiers in Iraq, she said. Years later, the Loves returned to Fort Hood and she decided to approach MWR and the garrison to start a memorial race similar to ones she saw at other posts.
“This is a way to show the family members we have not forgotten their soldiers, and this is a way to show the soldiers that their sacrifice still means everything to us,” Love said.
She said the plan is for the Fallen, Never Forgotten Memorial Run to return year after year.
The winner of the 5k race, Daniel Dramiga, said he chose to run in honor of many fallen soldiers. The run also featured a 10k course.
“It wasn’t anybody in particular, it was everybody,” he said. “I’m in the Army, too, and I feel their pain when we lose somebody downrange.”