Virginia Run for the Fallen pays tribute to local military heroes

Posted at 8:06 PM, Apr 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-30 20:06:00-04

Hampton Roads, Va. - Runners hit the pavement Thursday to honor and remember our fallen military service members, one mile, one marker, and one hero at a time.

"We were a military family.  My husband did 20 years.  My son always wanted to be a soldier," said Elvena Lewis, who stood by as participants in Virginia's Run for the Fallen paid tribute to her son, PFC Lee A. Lewis.

"His duty in the military was to help those who were injured and hurt," said Lewis.

PFC Lewis was a medic in the army.  And though he's gone, Elvena says her son will never be forgotten.

"We appreciate the runners giving tribute to our fallen soldiers, and we came out to say thank you to them," said Lewis.

Carolyn Byrd stood by as runners came by to honor her stepson PFC Kyle W. Brown.

"He was a little bitty fella that feared nothing and thought the world was his," said Byrd.

PFC Brown died in Iraq while on his fourth tour of duty.  She was happy to see so many people willing to honor her stepson and so many others.

"They care.  They appreciated what he did and the other fallen, and I thank them for it," said Byrd.

Each mile of the run is dedicated to a Virginia hero.  The runners started at Fort Story in Virginia Beach, making their way to Gloucester by afternoon.

Despite the rain and traffic, the runners pushed through, stopping at every mile to present an American flag and a personal biographical card to the waiting family members and friends.

"What I would like for them to recognize is that all of our service members, especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, did it for all of us, not just for their families, but for the country," said Lewis.

The run was a true moment of honor for family and friends Thursday and will be for so many more along the 240 mile journey.

The last stop of the run will be at Arlington National Cemetery this Sunday.