Run for the Fallen coming through Marion County

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Run for the Fallen flyer from www.runforthefallen.org

A cross-country run aimed to honor the memories of soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for our country will make an overnight stop in Marion County on June 11.
The Run for the Fallen began in 2008, when a team of runners trekked from Fort Irwin, Calif., to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The first day of the run was on Flag Day, June 14. They ran 3,800 miles – one for every member of the service lost since the War on Terror began.
Since that first run, over 200,000 miles have been run by over 50,000 participants across the country. This year’s run began on April 7, and by the time it ends, it will cover over 6,000 miles in 19 states. A marker is placed on every mile of the run to call out loud the names of individual fallen military members. The fallen are recognized in order of their deaths.
The runners are expected to arrive in Pleasantville late in the afternoon on Monday, June 11. Jody Rainsate, Iowa Director for the run, said they will come in on Highway 5/92 from Winterset. Local runners who would like to join all, or a portion, of this leg of the run, may do so.
“We definitely want participants,” Rainsate said. “If you want to run, you can join in. If you can’t do the whole day, you are still more than welcome.”
Shortly after their arrival in Pleasantville, they will be transported to the National Guard Armory in Knoxville. A banquet is planned at the Knoxville VFW Post at 5:30 p.m. Runners will spend the night at the armory. The next morning, at 5:30 a.m., volunteers will provide breakfast for the runners at the Pleasantville Memorial Hall. At 7 a.m., a ceremony will be held to see the runners off as they continue the journey.
“It’s quite a deal for Pleasantville,” Gordy Mecham of the Pleasantville Legion said.
The next leg of the journey from Pleasantville will take runners down Highway 5, back through Knoxville, Bussey and Hamilton. Rainsate said she would really like to see as many people from these towns come out, even if it is just to say hello.
“We definitely want the small towns to get involved,” she said.
The run took a day off for Memorial Day. However, on the Sunday before, a 73-year-old woman ran a portion of the run before going to church. After church, the woman caught up with the runners for another stretch.
Part of the woman’s ability to do this was credited to the run’s livestream on its website. If you cannot participate in the run, you can witness the mile marker ceremonies online.
The Run for the Fallen is personal for Rainsate, as she lost her brother, Marine Sgt. Rocky Littlewind, to Post-Traumatic Stress 19 months ago.
There might not be much opportunity to showcase Pleasantville to these guests. Nevertheless, the Post is proud to be a destination point.
“It’s a great deal,” Mecham said. “It’s an opportunity to honor the vets.”
Honoring veterans and Gold Star Families is what the organization is all about, Rainsate said. The organization presents flags to these families, as well as providing other support. All of this can be expensive, and the organization depends upon donations. For more information, visit www.runforthefallen.org.
More details about the leg through Marion County will be posted at www.marioncountytribune.com as they become available.