24 hours, 24 miles: Shadow run contributes to Wounded Warriors
May 29, 2011
Twenty-three U.S. servicemembers and civilians participated in a “24 hours in Baghdad” run on Camp Victory, Iraq, May 21.
The run, sponsored by Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Miner, a personal security detail team leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team, raised money for a CrossFit team he is a part of in Boise, Idaho, as well as the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. WWP serves to raise awareness, enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured servicemembers, and provides unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.
“We started at 7 a.m. and every hour on the hour we did a one mile run,” said Miner. “In between the hours was our break period and we continued up into the following morning finishing at 6 a.m., which equals 24 miles in total.”
Miner said running for a great cause such as WWP made it very rewarding for the personnel who participated in the event.
Fire Lt. Steven DelleCroce, a firefighter with the South Victory Fire Department, had a couple of friends who were injured in Afghanistan and Iraq when he was here in Iraq back in 2003-2005, and felt an obligation to run in their honor.
With temperatures in the 100s, fatigue played a large factor throughout the day.
“Weather was definitely the worst part” said DelleCroce. “Just having to run through fatigue was a challenge, but we got through it.”
Maj. Vincent M. Antunez, a theater physician assistant consultant with United States Forces " Iraq Surgeon’s Office, was a part of the run, and has treated countless Soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“I know the value of the Wounded Warrior Program firsthand from seeing them on the battlefield, through all stages of their rehabilitation,” he said.
Antunez said that anything that he could do for the wounded warriors, he would. To him, the run was a way to give back and help them out even more, as some of those Soldiers are ones that he took care of during recent deployments.
This was the first run of its kind at Camp Victory, and the participants finished out their run as the sun began to rise.
Miner said his CrossFit team back in Idaho was doing the exact same run and because of that, by bringing a shadow run over to Iraq was just like being there. “I didn’t think there would be this many people participating, so overall, it was pretty awesome.”