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Massachusetts VFW Post Honors Fallen With 5K

Legacy of service impacts runners

October 27, 2016

Upton VFW Post 5594 has hosted its Run to Remember 5K for seven years, but this year is the first time runners donned race bibs featuring the names of fallen service members.

The addition was a logistical decision for the race held earlier this month. In past years, adhesive tags did not work out as well, according to Post Commander Shawn Craig, an Iraq veteran who served in 2003 with the Marines in D Co., 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance as an infantry rifleman and scout.

Craig said the race is an opportunity for the community to honor friends “who’ve either fallen in the line of service or in memory of those who have served in the past.”

Runners who participate without a veteran to honor are provided with the name of one to add to their race bib.

Senior Vice Commander Margaret Laneri proposed the run as a fundraiser during her tenure as Post commander. Since then, she has organized the event, along with Quartermaster Dave Kennedy.

The 5K race begins and ends at the Post and has drawn volunteers from the community to help with registration, parking and its more recent addition of a children’s run. Katie Carroll, a member of the community, has organized and directed the children’s run for four years.

While it’s not the Post’s biggest event, Craig said it garnered around $1,000 and 70 runners participated in the 5K.

The Post also is working toward gaining sponsors for the race. This year, members held an appreciation cookout following the event for active reserve and first responders.

Army recruiters also attended the race, and, according to Craig, one member who had served for 12 years re-enlisted.

Photo caption: Runners prepare for VFW Post 5594’s seventh Run to Remember 5K. The event raised about $1,000 for the Post. Photo courtesy of Shawn Craig

By Kari Williams, editorial associate, VFW magazine