By Roxana HoveydaSeptember 24, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Army News Service, Sept. 24, 2007) - For the last few months, 37 wives from Georgia's Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield have been training to run the 23rd annual Army Ten-Miler next month.
The women will run in honor of their husbands, who are assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division and deployed to Iraq - some of them for their third tour.
Camaraderie and the chance to positively represent Army wives have attracted most of the spouses to the Ten-Miler, according to group member Gabrielle Winton. Others want to prove to their husbands that they can run the distance.
"I believe we represent the Families of deployed Soldiers and the spirit of Army Families everywhere in that our running is one of the many ways we carry on and don't quit while our loved ones are gone," Mrs. Winton said. "Running the Army Ten-Miler as a group shows solidarity and a desire to keep physically healthy."
The women appreciate the physical benefits of running, but especially enjoy the emotional benefits.
"When we're running with friends, laughing and talking through problems, things just seem better. We have a saying that 'the longer I run, the smaller my problems become.' It is so true!" said Mrs. Winton, whose husband, Lt. Col. Doug Winton, is deployed in Iraq for the second time.
"I think it's important to have groups like ours out there so that people don't forget that for every Soldier serving, there is a Family he or she left behind. Those Families are making a huge sacrifice, too, and we're just as proud to do it."
This year's Ten-Miler will take place Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C., with the start and finish at the Pentagon. The route passes such national landmarks as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol. Sponsored by the Association of the United States Army and Kellogg, Brown and Root, the event attracts more than 26,000 runners.
For more information on the race, go to www.armytenmiler.com.
(Roxana Hoveyda works for U.S. Northern Command's Joint Force Headquarters, National Capital Region.)