wear blue: run to remember has been a pivotal part of my journey forward in the aftermath of my husband’s death in Afghanistan. My story is not new to you, nor is this mission. As you know, in this community, we care for the families of the fallen by providing the power of the run. Because of the strength that running and community has given, wear blue has shifted me, and others like me, from survival to engaged living. With over 6,853 families who have sacrificed their own military heroes, I invite you to be a part of the power of the run by supporting our newly launched Gold Star Race Program.
There are days in which time seems to slow down. August is a month filled with those days. It begins with my youngest child’s birthday and closes with my husband’s Killed in Action anniversary. A bittersweet month that began in 2009 with the convergence of life and death.
As I read through my journal from those first sorrowful days, I see scrawled over and over, “I cannot do this without you.” There is much that has changed since 25 August 2009, but one thing that has not changed is the fact that I cannot do this without John. Moving forward without my best friend, mentor, cheerleader, and father of my children, has been my most terrifying, challenging, overwhelming journey. And yet, I have moved forward.
I have persevered because men and women stand in John’s boots in support of my family’s journey. These men and women are the wear blue community. They give me the space to share my memories, to celebrate the man who was and is so much to me, the space to grieve, and, even more, the inspiration to move forward.
When we run, we abandon our inhibitions and share the same space to breathe and live. And when I run in blue, I move forward with the inspiration of my husband driving my steps and the encouragement of the community giving me the confidence to reach the finish line. What I achieve in the steps of a run, has become the guide to what I can achieve in life. From the first shaky 5K after John died to last year’s 140.6 IRONMAN World Championships, I know that I can push through my perceived boundaries and live at the threshold of my capabilities. I can live a life in the light of John’s life, rather than in the darkness of his death.
All our families who have made the ultimate sacrifice, deserve the opportunity to heal, survive, thrive. wear blue: run to remember wants to be a part of this journey by empowering our families of the fallen through our Gold Star Race Program. This program provides Gold Star family members race selection and access, as well as the training and support necessary to complete a wear blue endurance running event. Each program recipient will receive one personalized wear blue shirt, one pair of running shoes, one race entry, airfare and lodging, training, a certified running coach, and support through the training and race experience.
I have witnessed the ability of many others achieving greatness during the race experience and it would be a dream to see this experience translated into other Gold Star lives due to your generosity. We honor the sacrifices of our fallen heroes, by caring for those they leave behind. I am deeply grateful for all who have stood in John’s boots to care for my family. I hope that you will stand with me behind our Gold Star families by supporting our newest program. Please visit https://secure.donationpay.org/wearblueruntoremember/ to donate today.
Thank you for being a part of the community that honors the service and sacrifice of the American military.
For the fallen. For the fighting. For the families.
Lisa A. Hallett
Co-founder and President
Wife of CPT John L Hallett, KIA 25 August 2009