Over 7,000 boots of fallen soldiers, line route for remembrance - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Over 7,000 boots of fallen soldiers, line route for remembrance 5k

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
FORT HOOD, TX (KXXV) -

Fort Hood held a remembrance 5k Saturday morning in honor of all fallen soldiers, and while only some ran with heavy gear, all ran with a heavy heart.

"The freedom we enjoy today is truly not free...  and we are forever grateful and indebted to our nation's fallen," Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, the Commanding General of Fort Hood, said. 

The runner's route was lined with the boots of over 7,000 fallen soldiers since 9/11. 

"A tremendous reminder of the cost our nation's son's and daughters, our greatest treasure, have paid to defend our great country," Lt. Gen. Funk added.  

For most, they ran with a specific day and person in mind. 

"12 August 2008... Afghanistan," CSM Louis Deleon of III Corps said.  

A day that Command Sargent Major Deleon will remember for the rest of his life because he... 

"...lost three of my soldiers, and I'm here to represent them in this run," CSM Deleon added.  

As a U.S. soldier for 19 years, Deleon is proud to carry the load for his fallen brothers and provide an example for his two sons. 

"It means that we do things that are bigger than ourselves, and it makes me proud that my boys can do this and share that experience with me and all these other soldiers that came out here today," CSM Deleon said.  

About 650 people participated in remembering the fallen including 40 Gold Star families.

"They know that it's more than just them that recognizes their service member. It's their unit, it's Fort Hood, and then it's just really the entire Army. This is our opportunity to say, 'thank you. We realize that your family has paid the ultimate sacrifice," Brandi Crist, the Chief of Community Recreation for Fort Hood, said. 

Since 2003, more than 565 soldiers from Fort Hood have paid the ultimate sacrifice serving our country. 

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