An annual spring staple dedicated to remembering veterans and first responders is returning for the 12th year.
The 1LT Robert F. Welch III Run for Our Heroes was created as an effort to help his widow Becky Welch honor and remember the life of her husband who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan. Welch III was killed April 3, 2011, at Forward Operating Base Salerno.
This year’s Run for Our Heroes begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22, with opening ceremonies followed by a 5K and 1-mile fun run along Jackson Street in downtown Wylie. Several other events will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. including a vendor fair, live music and a free lunch catered by Hawaiian Bros for all military veterans, first responders and their families, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
There will also be several activities geared toward children including face painting, bounce houses and a mobile teddy bear shop. Live music will begin around 10 a.m.
Welch said the event is a way to communicate that Wylie residents understand the high cost of protecting freedoms in the United States and show gratitude for those who serve their country and community.
“The 1LT Robert F. Welch III Run for our Heroes is a special event that helps bring our community together to honor and remember those brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Welch said. “It also allows us the opportunity to say thank you to the local Heroes right here in our own community from our military veterans, both retired and currently serving, to our first responders in the fire and police departments.”
Outside of recognizing those who have served and those actively serving, families of service men and women are recognized because of their important role too, said Welch.
“We also pay tribute and recognize the family members of our heroes, because the reality is that the whole family actually serves,” Welch said.
Additionally, the event raises funds that directly benefit veterans and first responders in the community. Past projects have included supporting military families’ financial and food needs, funding scholarships for local high school students and aiding police and fire department projects.
“The 1LT Robert F. Welch III Charity is always on the lookout for any way we can help within our community to give back to those who have given so much for us,” Welch said. “These men and women have given so much for us and being able to help and support them in any capacity is the least we can do to show our appreciation and gratitude.”
For the full story, see the April 5 issue of The Wylie News.