Community remembers fallen
August 25, 2011
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Six years ago, Lori Morris lost her husband. Emilee Morris, 11, lost her father. Saturday marked their third memorial run for their Soldier -- Staff Sgt. Brian Morris of 360th Transportation Company, which was then part of the 68th Corps Support Battalion, 43rd Area Support Group at Fort Carson.
"We live with grief every day," Morris said. "We do this to keep his memory alive."
Morris, her daughter and mother, Lois Nelson, ran the race together.
"I would hope he would be proud," Morris said.
More than 800 runners and walkers of all ages came to Ironhorse Park for the annual Run for the Fallen, a nationwide memorial event to honor the more than 6,000 servicemembers killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 2003 when units from Fort Carson began deploying, 325 Mountain Post Soldiers have been killed in action.
Jamie Johnson and her daughter, Erica Johnson, joined several runners honoring Master Sgt. Charles Levan Price III, who died Aug. 12. Price served more than 20 years in the Army, earning several Army Commendation medals, a Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star Medal.
"My husband served with him in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Jamie Johnson, whose husband is deployed with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. "(My husband) couldn't be here, so we're running it for him."
Before the race, Carrie Cochrane sat with her daughter, Jailyn Cochrane, at a picnic table, carefully pinning a name to the 4-year-old's shirt.
"It's the least we can do," Cochrane said. "My daughter is running for a friend of my husband's -- Sgt. John B. Trotter."
Cochrane's husband is in the final months of his second tour to Iraq.
"We're hoping he's home before trick-or-treating," she said.
Brig. Gen. James H. Doty, acting senior commander, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, addressed the crowd of servicemembers, parents, spouses, children and friends before the race.
"Today, across the nation, people are going to be walking for the fallen," he said. "This morning, each one of you will be memorializing one of our fallen."
Pictures of Fort Carson's fallen lined the one-mile course.
"It was absolutely a success," said Ann Edinger, event coordinator and chief of events and entertainment for the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. "To see the names on people … makes it so personal."
Minutes after beginning his run, Spc. Roger Wright-Lester completed the course.
"I think I ran it in (4 minutes, 45 seconds)," he said, trying to catch his breath.
Wright-Lester, 59th Military Police Company, 759th MP Battalion, said he ran the race for fallen Soldier Staff Sgt. Richard J. Jordan, 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, from Fort Bliss, Texas.
"All I could hear was 'Keep running, Soldier, as fast as you can. No matter what, keep going. You'll make it there,'" he said. "We used to say that to each other all the time. It was the last thing I remember before he passed."