News: ‘Raiders’ run extra mile for Wounded Warriors
Story by Pfc. Nathan Thome
FORT CARSON, Colo. – Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, ‘Raiders,’ participated in the Army 10-Miler Oct. 9 in Washington, to raise awareness and money for Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs, the Wounded Warrior Project and its supporting families.
Army 10-Miler participants included a large range of runners from soldiers and Wounded Warriors, to civilians, teenagers, and citizens of other countries.
“This year was the 27th annual Army 10-Miler and I was motivated to participate in it because it has always been on my bucket list of things to do,” said 1st Lt. Diana Duke, battalion adjutant, 1st Special Troops Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. “It’s an esprit de corps kind of thing, and I would participate every year if I could.”
Accomplishing a task on her bucket list wasn’t the only reason Duke had for wanting to take part in the 10-Miler.
During her yearlong deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, Duke said that one of her friends was killed in action, and another was injured by an improvised explosive device.
“I wore a special shirt for my buddies who were casualties; it’s the little things, the things that honor them,” said Duke.
While she was running in honor of her injured friends, Duke was also running the Army 10-Miler with her best friend, Capt. Megen Hadley, battalion intelligence officer, 1STB, 1BCT, 4th Inf. Div.
Hadley ran the race because it gave her the sense of being part of a bigger organization. She said it was inspiring because there were Wounded Warriors who went out and participated in the run with everybody.
There were so many Wounded Warriors who were giving it their all, said Duke. Some of them had to stop to the side of the road to readjust their prosthetics because they were running so hard.
Duke and Hadley said they prepared for the upcoming race by constantly running during morning physical training and on their free time.
“I usually run between 25 to 30 miles a week, so it was easy to incorporate that into training for the Army 10-Miler,” said Duke. “There are so many Wounded Warriors out there who work so long and hard to live a normal life, I figure the least I could do is run 10 miles.”
“This is my fifth time running the Army 10-Miler,” said Hadley. “My mom was preparing for a marathon when she came to visit a few weeks prior to the run, so we did some runs at different paces and distances.”
All of their hard work paid off for Duke and Hadley when they noticed that they were running the race quicker than they expected.
Duke said the run went very quickly; she remembered getting to mile five and couldn’t believe that she was almost halfway through.
“Duke and I ran the entire Army 10-Miler together, when we reached the finish line we crossed it at the exact same time,” said Hadley.
The Army 10-Miler was full of positive energy from both the crowd of spectators and the runners themselves, said Duke.
“The run was awe-inspiring, everybody cheered one another on during the run, which was very motivational and gave you that extra burst of energy to keep going and finish the run,” said Duke. “Being able to finish with my best friend was a blessing, and the fact that I got to honor two of my friends meant more than I could ever say.”