Gold Star spouse, Sarah Leach, reflects on finding wear blue:
June 26, 2012 is a day I will never forget. Two Soldiers arrived at our house to notify me that my Husband, SSG Matthew Leach, wouldn’t be coming home from Afghanistan. That was the day my life changed forever.
Later that night I called Matt’s best friend and brother in arms, Jim Madden, to tell him the devastating news. He packed his family up and drove to Michigan from Fort Bragg, NC the very next day. I was still in shock. I didn’t want to do anything and I wouldn’t have even gotten out of bed if I didn’t have our son, Jack, to take care of. Luckily, Jim was there. Jim pushed me to get out and run even though it was the last thing I wanted to do. Running helped me to get back into a routine and to do something good for myself, which in the long run, would be good for my son.
Matt was a very active, fun, and adventurous guy. Unfortunately, our son Jack was only 6 months old when he died and he didn’t get to experience that side of his father. Being a single mother I feel it’s important to honor Matt and give Jack all of the experiences his father would have wanted him to have. One of those experiences is the joy of running.
I was so happy to find a wear blue: run to remember group in my area. The leader, Danielle Joyce, and the rest of the team made my son and I feel very welcome. Since joining the wear blue group I completed my first half marathon. I never thought I would be able to run 13.1 miles in my life. The morning before the race, we met for a circle of remembrance before and read off the names of the fallen service members. I kept their names in my pocket to push me through when I wanted to quit. I didn’t quit and I am happy to say I signed up for my next half marathon.
I am proud to wear blue For the Fallen, For the Fighting, For the Families.