News: Military Turns Out In Force To Support Run For Special Olympics
LIFE SUPPORT AREA, KUWAIT -- There are many events these days to help raise money for charity. One such event is the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, started in 1981 by a Kansas police chief who wanted to raise money and increase awareness of the Special Olympics. Soon afterward the International Association of Chiefs of Police officially adopted the Torch Run and gave it its current name.
Recently Staff Sgt. Robert Moore a National Guard member from Chehalis, Wash., organized a Torch Run in the Middle East with the help of Army 1st Lt. Charles Day and Sgt. Maj. Judith Steele.
Sgt. Moore has been a part of the Washington State Highway Patrol for seven years and took part in the 2008 Law Enforcement Torch Run in Washington State. This year, however, he was deployed to the Middle East and was going to miss this year's run. He is currently serving as a liaison officer with the 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command.
"While I was at a Fraternal Order of Police meeting, I bounced the idea to the guys and asked if I could support them by putting race together while I'm deployed. They said that they would and it grew from there," said Sgt. Moore. "I wasn't going to be able to be in the run in Washington and really wanted to. So, I thought that it would be a good idea to have one here to show support of the Special Olympics over here," he noted.
The Torch run consisted of eight miles and had seven different relay teams. After each mile a team would pass the lit torch to the next team until the torch covered the eight mile course. The teams were, in order of run, the base Command Cell, Navy Customs, Theater Gateway, Seabee's, who ran mile four and five, Air Force and Marines. The event also had eight person relay teams and individual runners which took place as the torch run was happening.
Approximately 143 participants ran for the charity event. Australian service member Ben Frater took the Gold for the Men's Individual eight mile with a time of 56 minutes 15 seconds and Army Sgt. 1st Class Gloria Josey of Belcamp Md., LNO — 82nd Brigade Sustainment Battalion, took the Gold for the Women's Individual eight mile with a time of one hour 11 minutes and two seconds. The relay team of Task Force Gateway personnel took first with a time of 52 minutes 20 seconds.
The event took about a month of planning and organizing. The local Morale, Welfare and Recreation, United Service Organizations, the Command Cell, Dining Facility, and Navy Customs helped out with supplies, tables, medals and trophies for the winners.
"I was honored and excited to be a part of the first ever Special Olympic Torch run event on the base. I was extremely grateful for the personal time and commitment of the many volunteers who helped to make the event a success," said Lt. Col. Keith Yoshida, Camp Commander.
"Specifically the event organizer, Sgt. Moore, whose passion and interest in Special Olympics was the catalyst and inspiration for this Torch Run event. He is a role model for all of us to follow," said Yoshida.
There are many ways to help out your local community and athletes. Sgt. Moore proved that support even thousands of miles away military members can still make a difference in their local communities.