News: Corps of Engineers hosted birthday 5k at Kandahar Airfield
Story by Karla Marshall
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan —The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer district-South, celebrated the Corps of Engineers birthday by sponsoring a 5-kilometer run on Kandahar Airfield, June 16 to benefit the wounded Warrior Support Center on KAF.
“Thanks to all of you who are here to run with us this morning,” said Air Force Col. Benjamin Wham, the South district commander before the start of the race. “All the proceeds from this event will go to the wounded warriors.”
About 400 NATO troops, civilians, and support personnel participated in the early morning run with the first place finisher, Royal Air Force Sgt. Paul Vernon completing the run in 17 minutes, 35 seconds and the first place female finisher U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Jennifer Han in 20 minutes 13 seconds.
Ingrid Burnette, deployed to the South district from the USACE Huntington district, headed the team of volunteers who planned, organized and worked the 5k run. “We were hoping to have at least 600 participants and ordered T-shirts for that many,” said Burnette. “I’m happy to report that we ran out of shirts and had to order 100 more. We raised $7,118 for the Warrior Support Center.”
The money raised will purchase shoes, shirts, reflective belts, alarm clocks, power converters, watches, DVD players and other items that will help keep the soldiers’ morale up while they recover from the wounds they received on the battlefield said Burnette.
Burnette, a long-time long-distance runner, had the idea to host a 5k for Engineers Day and presented the concept to the South district’s Command Group in mid-March. “Whenever our people are willing to take on big challenges that benefit others, I wholeheartedly support their efforts,” said Wham. “Ingrid and the 30 or so other USACE employees worked on their own time to make this happen and did a good job.”