FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A one-of-a-kind program connects children whose parents have died while serving our country with active duty service members to mentor them.
It’s called “Wear Blue: Run to Remember.” The children of slain soldiers and active-duty soldiers train to run a 5K together.
“Letting those children know that their parent is not forgotten and that they’re not forgotten,” Dianne Gray said about the event.
Gray helped start the pilot program at Fort Bragg last year. She says right now they need more active-duty soldiers to volunteer.
Gage Bell participated last year.
“I walked a lot, and I kind of just ran a little bit,” Bell said.
Walk or run, 8-year-old Bell proudly crossed the finish line during the 2019 Memorial Day race.
“It was like a miracle,” Bell said.
His mom LaToya proudly watched her son reach his goal, while also remembering his dad Russell Bell who was killed in Afghanistan in 2012.
“I think this is a good way to keep it alive because Russell was full of energy,” LaToya said. “A different way as oppose to something sad, it’s something positive.”
“We are really trying to connect the kids with the piece that they’re missing,” Dianne said. “Their parent has sacrificed so much, sometimes they don’t have that same network and community that active-duty kids do.”
The deadline to sign up is Jan. 31.
“We don’t want anybody to feel turned away, and we don’t want anybody to not feel they have a place,” Gray said.
The kids and soldiers meet every weekend to train together from March until Memorial Day.
More headlines from CBS17.com:
- Phones, email still out after ‘cyber incident’ hits Chatham County government, officials say
- American Cancer Society still fighting cancer during pandemic
- Morehead Planetarium and Science Center set to reopen
- Against Virginia, UNC hopes run game continues with offensive line providing key help
- Building healthy communities: North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence leads the state’s to end domestic violence
For more stories like this that matter to you, click here to download the CBS 17 News app for free.
Watch live newscasts, get breaking news and sign up for push alerts – download now