News: 524th CSSB hosts Great Aloha Run
Story by Spc. Jason Venturini
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - In Honolulu, more than 15,000 people line up for the start of the 26th annual Great Aloha Run on a clear warm morning Feb 14. Meanwhile, half a world away, nearly 500 people brave a chilly, dust filled morning in Afghanistan, to take part in the same event.
The 524th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, headquartered at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, hosted the eight mile charity run at Bagram Airfield to build fellowship amongst deployed service members while raising money for Hawaii based charity organizations.
"The run is about coming together as a team, building camaraderie for a good purpose and raise money for charity," said U.S. Army Capt. Michelle Parlette, 524th CSSB Headquarters, Headquarters Company commander.
The run has raised $8.1 million over its 26 year history and distributing to more than 150 different charitable originations throughout the islands. Through the support of the participants here, more than $2,000 will be added to that total.
"The response has been great," said Parlette, a resident of Eagle Point, Ore. "We had 466 people register to compete in the run, with many more coming out just to participate."
This is the second time the run has been held at Bagram. The first was hosted by the 25th Infantry Division in 2005.
With the run being announced several months ago, many participants took time out of their schedules to be physically ready for the eight mile trek.
"It's something you have to build up to and prepare for," said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Ryan Matter, 267th Quartermaster Company gun-truck platoon leader. "This is my third Great Aloha Run, so I kind of knew what to expect. I've been doing a lot of running to get ready for it, which is great for my overall health."
Despite not having the warm, tropical breeze on their backs, the run was a great success, said U.S. Army Maj. Ben Walters, 524th CSSB executive officer.
"It feels great to come out, do some PT and support the people of Hawaii even though we are currently in Afghanistan," said Savannah, Ga., native, U.S. Army Spc. Keawanyda Speaks, 524th CSSB radio transmitter operator. "It's a great event to be a part of."