Vandenberg Raises Money for Vets

It should be no surprise that Veterans’ Day was celebrated at Vandenberg Air Force Base, but the manner in which it was done went far beyond the typical parades and speeches by dignitaries. Beginning on October 20 and concluding on November 11, Run to Remember allowed Vandenberg airmen and members of the public to honor service members who lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. While paying homage to those who served in the past, the event’s organizers wanted to pay special tribute to the current generation of soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen serving in combat and to raise money for those who have returned home with disabilities. “We have so many wounded coming home, we don’t even know their problems yet,” said Senior Master Sergeant Cynthia O’Byrne, one of the event’s organizers. With runs being donated Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m., participants hoofed it for 24 hours on the final day, culminating in a one-mile formation run near base headquarters. Participants carried cards with the names and pictures of service members who died in the line of duty, and donated money to veterans’ charities through the Combined Federal Campaign. Much of the money collected went to the Wounded Warriors Project and Disabled American Veterans, said O’Byrne. According to Vandenberg’s public affairs office, at least one mile-long run was completed for each of the nearly 4,800 deaths that occurred in the two current overseas U.S. military operations.


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