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Annual event honors 31 military members killed overseas 10 years ago

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Posted at 9:00 PM, Aug 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-12 21:00:46-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - A day of climbing, lifting, stepping and pretty much giving it your all. But most of all, it’s a day to remember and honor the military lives lost on August 6, 2011, when 30 service members and a K-9 were killed after their helicopter was shot down.

While it's been 10 years since that tragedy, those who are here at this upbeat event are very aware that the fallen have families who are still suffering.

"Think about those kids; think about those spouses; think about the moms and dads brothers and sisters. This is fresh to them forever,” says 31 Heroes spokesperson Vanessa Coria.

So, every year, the 31 Heroes charity holds a CrossFit-style event to raise money and awareness with music and raffles.

“We do it for the fallen - but not forgotten - and we want to make sure that the families are taken care of 10 years after the worst tragedy ever.”

No matter what the weather is, these heroes come out to support our local service members. In the last 10 years, they’ve managed to raise nearly $2 million to go toward this effort.

“It’s something I believe in supporting, and it was a tragic thing that happened and we get a chance to come out and hang together and have a good time," said Ryan Knutson, who has come out every year since the event began.

Kelly Reed is part of a 31-member team from the Chick's Beach area.

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“This is the only way I can thank the veterans for what they do every day. We’re here to support their family, and I love being able to do it.”

And for the hundreds of people who come out every year to grind it out on the CrossFit course to honor our service members, we at News 3 wanted to honor them with a People Taking Action award and a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, click here.