News: Operation Homefront Hosts Freedom Walk
Story by Petty Officer 2nd Class Nikki Smith
NORFOLK, Va. - Operation Homefront hosted a Freedom Walk Sept. 11 at the Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., for service members and civilians to remember the events and victims of 9/11. More than 400 people attended the first annual event and completed a one-mile walk around the speedway.
"I see the benefit in hosting an event like this so that everyone can really get out there and share their experiences and feel pain for other people and get a little bit of comfort in knowing that other people care," said Mischelle Trigo, director of Operation Homefront.
The event began with the Norfolk Police Department's Honor Guard presenting colors, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Girl Scouts of the Colonial Coast Council and the national anthem sang by 11 year-old Judy Winslow. The event also featured key note speaker Faith Gollob, who was a first responder to the attacks.
Sixteen companies, including Verizon and Navy Federal Credit Union, showed their support by sponsoring the event that included attractions for children.
"I have friends in New York who almost lost family and this is a way for me and my family to remember the importance of what this means to all Americans and to my family in particular," said Air Force Lt. Col. John Foden of the Joint Task Force Civil Support at Fort Monroe.
Many of the attendees were prior military or were directly affected by that fateful day.
"Nine/eleven is something we'll never forget and we never should forget ... we can't forget those that died and those that sacrificed," said Thomas Randall, retired Army chief warrant officer.
Operation Homefront provides emergency assistance and morale to our troops, to the families they leave behind and to wounded warriors when they return home. A nonprofit 501(c)(3), Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers in 30 chapters nationwide and has provided critical assistance to more than 45,000 military families in need.