By Fort Sill Tribune staffNovember 25, 2019
FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Nov. 25, 2019) -- For the ninth year, Fort Sill remembered the sacrifices of service members and Gold Star families with the memorial 5K Run for the Fallen Nov. 23, beginning at the Patriot Club.
Over 200 registered runners, plus military units, and walkers began the 10 a.m. run that went around the post golf course. The 428th Field Artillery Brigade and Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sponsored the remembrance, which was designated as the post's sesquicentennial event for November.
"This is one of the best events we do at Fort Sill because we bring in the community, we bring in the (Gold Star) families, and it's our commitment to show that we are never forgetting fallen service members or their families," said Col. Jeffrey Buck, 428th FA Brigade commander, who welcomed the runners, and families.
Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general Maj. Gen. Wilson A. Shoffner, said the sacrifices of men and women have made the U.S. a free and democratic nation.
"It's sacrifices that went back even before this country was formed," he said, "and that sacrifice continues today."
Maj. Michael Smith, 428th FA Brigade S3, read the names of dozens of local fallen service members, and then asked the crowd for a moment of silence to honor them.
Many of the participants were running in honor of fallen service members that they knew, or knew of. This run is about them and there may be somber moments during the run, Buck said.
Fort Sill Survivor Outreach Services displayed a memorial of crosses-and-combat boots of local fallen service members on two sets of bleachers. SOS also sponsored a VIP tent with refreshments for Gold Star families provided by the Fort Sill USO Center.
"It's wonderful how they remember our men and women," said Gold Star wife Elfriede Werdehoff, of Lawton. She's been to three of Run for the Fallen remembrances.
Event sponsors included Whataburger, Raytheon, TownSquare Media, Legend Driven automotive, 5-Star Nutrition, USAA, Corvias, Fort Sill Federal Credit Union, Country Mart, First Command (financial), and Pam & Barry's Team realtors.