S: 18 August 2012 - Tripler Fisher House Hero & Remembrance Run
BC: This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will... My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit... My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will ever guard it against the ravages of weather and damage as I will ever guard my legs, my arms, my eyes and my heart against damage. I will keep my rifle clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will... Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace! | I am an American Soldier. I am a W arrior and a member of a team. I serve the people of the United States and live the Army Values. I will always place the mission first. I will never accept defeat. I will never quit. I will never leave a fallen comrade. I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself. I am an expert and I am a professional. I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy the enemies of the United States of America in close combat. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life. I am an American Soldier. | I am an American Airman. I am a Warrior. I have answered my Nation's call. I am an American Airman. My mission is to Fly, Fight, and Win. I am faithful to a Proud Heritage, A Tradition of Honor, And a Legacy of Valor. I am an American Airman. Guardian of Freedom and Justice, My Nation's Sword and Shield, Its Sentry and Avenger. I defend my Country with my Life. I am an American Airman. Wingman, Leader, Warrior. I will never leave an Airman behind, I will never falter, And I will not fail. | I am a United States Sailor. I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me. I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world. I proudly serve my country's Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment. I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all. | I am proud to be a United States Coast Guardsman. I revere that long line of expert seamen who by their devotion to duty and sacrifice of self have made it possible for me to be a member of a service honored and respected, in peace and war, throughout the world. I never, by word or deed, will bring reproach upon the fair name of my service, nor permit others to do so unchallenged. I will cheerfully and willingly obey all lawful orders. I will always be on time to relieve, and shall endeavor to do more, rather than less, than my share. I will always be at my station, alert and attending to my duties. I shall, so far as I am able bring to my seniors solutions, not problems. I shall live joyously, but always with sue regard for the rights and privileges of others. I shall endeavor to be a model citizen in the community in which I live. I shall sell life dearly to an enemy of my country, but give it freely to rescue those in peril. With God's help, I shall endeavor to be one of His noblest Works...j
FC: Tripler Fisher House 18 August 2012 Hero & Remembrance Run
1: On August 18, 2012, the Tripler Fisher House hosted its first annual Hero & Remembrance Run in honor of over 6,500 military men and women who have given their lives in service to our Nation since September 11, 2001. | Never Forget
2: "Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11." -President Barack Obama The Tripler Fisher House of Honolulu, Hawaii, hatched an ambitious and humbling plan--- to honor each and every United States military service member who had made the ultimate sacrifice in post 9/11/01 conflict.
3: "These men and women have names. They have faces. And they have families left behind." -Theresa Johnson, Manager of Tripler Fisher House, Honolulu, Hawaii | The plan required every service member to be identified by name, rank, photograph, and conflict. Donated combat boots were then matched to each fallen service member. These boots were to be placed along an 8k route. | Army 1st Lt. Ryan D. Rawl | Army Spc. Brian M. Romines | Army Staff Sgt. Christopher W. Swisher | Army Sgt. Keicia M. Hines | Marine Pfc. Josue Ibarra
4: Proper identification of the fallen was accomplished and volunteers prepared each memorial card. It was not uncommon for our volunteers, both civilian and military, to come across a fallen friend as the remembrance cards were created.
5: Members of the Class of 2009, United States Military Academy at West Point | Army Sgt.Jesse Castro Died Dec. 6, 2006 | Army Sgt. Joel D. Clarkson Died March 16, 2010 | Army Staff Sgt. James M. Christen | Army Staff Sgt. James M. Christen
7: Military units and individuals contributed boots that were used to honor each fallen comrade. The memorial boots had walked a mile in the fallen's footsteps. Many of the donated boots had been worn in Iraq, Afghanistan, and even Vietnam, Korea and WWII. | As was the case for the Hero & Remembrance Run itself, the photographs manage to tell the story...
8: Volunteers spent weeks pairing boots with individual Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who lost their lives. Some volunteers came in order to celebrate a friend, a child, a spouse, or a unit member. Others came to offer overall support.
11: Army Sgt.1st Class Lonnie J. Parson | Army Staff Sgt. Mark C. Wells | Army Spc. Vernon R. Widner | Air Force Master Sgt. Patrick D. Magnani | Air Force Master Sgt. Tara R. Brown | Army Staff Sgt. James R. Patton | Army Sgt. Richard A. Essex | Marine Lance Cpl. Michael J. Williams | Army Sgt. Allan R. Bevington
12: Army Pfc. William R. Strange | Army CWO 2 Matthew G. Kelley | Army CSM Cornell W. Gilmore I | Marine Sgt. Jesse M. Balthaser | Navy Hospitalman Benjamin D. Rast | Army CSM Steven W. Faulkenburg | Army 1st Lt. Dimitri A. Del Castillo | Air Force Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe | Army Spc. Benjamin J. Garrison | Army Pfc. Peter D. Wagler | Army Sgt. Nicholas J. Patterson
13: Army Sgt. Louis A. Griese | Army Natl. Guard Spc. Jeremiah J. Holmes | Army Capt. John R. Dennison | Navy Senior Chief (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson | Marine Sgt. Brandon C. Bury | Army Sgt. Chadrick O. Domino | Army Sgt. Eduviges G. Wolf | Navy Chief EOD Tech Kraig M. Vickers | Army Capt. Matthew C. Ferrara | Army Natl. Guard Spc. Philip D. Brown | Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Hines
14: Marine Pfc. Ryan M. Jerabek | Army Sgt. Robert W. Sweeney III | Army Master Sgt. Thomas A. Wallsmith | Marine Capt. Sean L. Brock | Army 1st Lt. Ashley L. White | Army Spc. Craig S. Frank | Army 1st Lt. Daren M. Hidalgo | Marine 1st Lt. Scott J. Fleming | Army Sgt. Nathaniel T. Swindell | Army 1st Lt. Mark H. Dooley | Army Staff Sgt. Christopher J. Schornak | Courage | Selfless
15: Marine Lance Cpl. Deshon E. Otey | Navy Chief (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn | Army Spc. Benjamin C. Pleitez | Army Capt. Michael J. Mackinnon | Army Pfc. Melissa J. Hobart | Marine Lance Cpl. Jason N. Barfield | Navy Senior Chief Operator Sean Sullivan | Army Staff Sgt. Richard L. Berry | Marine Lance Cpl. Javier Perales, Jr. | Marine Cpl. Brandon S. Schuck | Army Spc. Michael J. Wiesemann
16: Mother of Marine Lance Cpl. Kristen K. Marino, of Honolulu, HI, killed March 13, 2006 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
20: In conjunction with the 2012 Hero & Remembrance Run, Soldiers and Civilians of Forward Operating Base Wolverine took part in a 5K Run to support the Tripler Fisher House. This run was staged downrange in Afghanistan. Sadly, the gravity of the event struck the participants intensely, as several members of the group had been lost in a helicopter incident just days earlier.
22: Meanwhile, back at the Fisher House, members of the Army and Marines, and volunteers from the Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard arrived the night before the event to prepare the 8k area. Once the work was complete, Marines stayed overnight in order to patrol the course and guard the memorial boots.
24: August 18, 2012 The morning of the First Annual Hero & Remembrance Run on Ford Island, Hawaii
25: As the runners and walkers, military units and individuals, lined up for the start of the event the sun broke through the clouds and shined down upon the faces of the fallen. | The participants then began the 8k course through boot after boot of lives lost and memories remaining.
27: The last several hundred yards of the course were lined with the photographs of thousands of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen Guardians, and Marines who were not yet depicted upon boots. Volunteers held these pictures for over an hour as all of the runners crossed through the finish line.
28: Amazing cakes and goodies were donated by Claudette's Sweet Creations, which were decorated in honor of the branches of military service. Additionally, volunteers from Soldiers' Angels came to support the event and worked tirelessly in collaboration with the Tripler Fisher House.
29: The 2012 unit that registered online with the most participation was 516th Signal BDE. Honorable mention for participation went to 3rd BDE. Each year the bronze boots will pass to the military unit with the most participation. That unit will have a unit dog tag added to the bronze boots, which shall commemorate the unit's commitment to the Hero & Remembrance Run.
31: People found their friends, family, and battle buddies.
33: The Tripler Fisher House received nearly 1,500 pairs of donated boots for the first annual Hero & Remembrance Run. Boot collection continues and it is hoped that many more boots are processed for future events of remembrance.
34: To: Tripler Fisher House Thank you so much for honoring our Nation's fallen heroes since September 11, 2001. Our nephew, SSgt. Thomas Joseph Dodds “TJ” Dudley was killed in action on July 7, 2011 while serving as a crewchief in the United States Marines in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.
35: He left behind a wife and three young children and numerous young nieces and nephews who adored him. He was on his sixth deployment and was scheduled to come home two weeks after he was killed. We were devastated lost, but we have been sustained by a loving God and by knowing that TJ loved his country, loved being a Marine, and deeply loved his family. I am writing to see if there was a picture of him on the Hero and Remembrance Run/Walk/Roll, and, if so, do you have a photo of his “boot”. It would mean the world to us, especially his mother, to see a photo of TJ’s boot display. If not, I certainly understand. 6,568 photos would be a daunting task. On your web site, I read information about the run, walk, roll and one quote sums up exactly how we feel: "‘Looking at all their faces, it brings it home. They're all real people, it's not just casualty of war but it's a real person that should be filling those shoes,’ says Loder.” That's what we want people to remember about our fallen hero, other fallen heroes, and our wounded. They are real people with families, friends, hopes, dreams, personalities, etc... They are important to us. They were an important part of our lives and now they are gone. We can and will carry on, but our lives are forever changed in so many, many ways.
36: Young children will grow up without the warmth of a father's hug or his steady advice as they grow older. His young widow has traveled a journey that is unimaginable with courage, dignity, grace even though her heartache literally caused her to not be able to breathe at times. His mother has two other children currently serving in the military, a son in the Marines and a daughter in the Navy, and she knows all too well that a mother's worst fear can come true. His friends can't wrap their minds around this and try to connect to him, try to honor him by drinking a beer at his grave or leaving him a cigar or getting tattoos to forever connect in some physical way with their friend. Those of my generation (I was born in 1952) have been shaken to the core knowing how fragile life is knowing that someone's son or daughter would be in our shoes and hoping against all hope that God would spare us the agony of losing TJ. But we carry on and try to keep TJ’s memory and legacy alive, try to reach out to others who have wounded or fallen heroes, try to teach our children and grandchildren the beauty and privilege of freedom as well as the responsibilities that go along with it. We will never forget. We are profoundly grateful to people like those who organized this run/walk/roll and for the touching tribute to each of our fallen heroes including TJ. God bless you for the good work your organization does. And please never underestimate your work's importance. Semper Fidelis! ---Melinda Hefner
39: The Tripler Fisher House hopes to continue this event of remembrance for many years to come and extends the deepest gratitude to everyone who helped make the 2012 Hero & Remembrance Run an event worthy of our heroes.