FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) — Two thousand pairs of boots are needed to help honor fallen service members of all branches at an event in May.
The event is part of the annual Run, Honor, Remember 5K happening May 16 at Fort Bragg.
The boots are placed in rows covering the field at Headrick Stadium.
Each boot represents one service member killed in action since Sept. 1, 2001, plus local soldiers who have passed away over the last year.
“Seventy-five hundred plus is a number, but when you see it, it really amplifies the sacrifice that our community, the military and our families have given,” said Charlotte Watson with Survivor Outreach Services.
The event started six years ago, offering surviving families and battle buddies a unique way to honor their loved one and share their story.
“The most important part is when a family sees it or when a child sits down next to the boot where their mommy or daddy is at and they get an opportunity to talk about them,” Watson said. “Sometimes we have beer put in a boot, or a child will write a letter to their parent and it will be inside the boot — and it’s really special.”
Many of the boots from previous years can’t be used anymore because they’ve deteriorated from weather.
About 4,000 boots are needed by April 17.
“For our families, it shows that Fort Bragg and the community have not forgotten the loss of their loved one.”
Any type of military boot can be donated.
The boots can be dropped off at Survivor Outreach Services, Soldier and Family Readiness Group Center, and the main lobby of the Soldier Support Center.
For more information, call 910-396-0384.
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