NC mom plans to run 1,000 miles to honor veteran son who died in crash

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HONOLULU (KGMB) — A North Carolina mom is running a thousand miles across all 50 states to honor her son — a veteran who died in a crash.

“I decided I’m going to run in all 50 states in honor of our veterans,” said Cathy Powers.

Every step also honors her late son. Six years ago, Senior Airman Bryce Powers died after a traffic accident in Japan.

“I just thought nothing would ever be the same without my son. I just didn’t really care. I just stopped. I got in a bad place,” she said.

Cathy was depressed and eating herself into oblivion. Then came a realization and transformation.

“I need to do something bigger than me,” Powers said.

Cathy got involved with Wreaths Across America. Every December, the organization places wreaths on graves at Arlington National Cemetery — where Bryce is buried.

“It was a marathon of change. It took me years but I’m finally living, for both of us,” she said.

The nationwide run draws attention to her cause. Through her Facebook page, Cathy encourages people to sponsor wreaths for this December’s Arlington ceremony. She wants to secure sponsors for 7,777 wreaths — one for each day Bryce was alive.

“That number is not just a random number. I thought I need to do something good with that number,” said Powers.

Cathy started her trek in California. Just a few days ago, she ran at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. So far she’s logged 169 miles toward her goal.

“I was the mom in the minivan driving to get the mail. Now I’m running. I’m running a thousand miles,” said Powers.

Cathy’s paying for her travel, but families across the United States have offered to host her in their homes as word spreads through social media about the wreath runner.

For more information about Wreaths Across America, click here.

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