wear blue: run to remember is a national nonprofit running community that honors the service and sacrifice of the American military. wear blue: run to remember creates a support network for military members and their families; it bridges the gap between military and civilian communities and it creates a living memorial for our country’s fallen military members. wear blue: run to remember exists for the fallen, for the fighting and for the families.
wear blue: run to remember was founded following the redeployment of 5-2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team, a unit that, while deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, sustained a significant amount of combat losses and casualties. During that deployment, a small group of 5-2 wives and battalion support staff met weekly to run, seeking to create a support network for one another during this challenging and heartbreaking deployment. When the brigade returned, two of those Army wives and avid runners, Lisa Hallett and Erin O’Connor, turned this small group into a nationwide vision that now helps thousands heal from and work through the more challenging aspects of military life during a time of war. Lisa’s husband, CPT John Hallett, was one of four soldiers killed in that unit on August 25, 2009, while returning from a goodwill mission in Southern Afghanistan.
Today, this group runs to honor all military members killed in combat and has evolved into a powerful network of active duty and retired service members, military families, Wounded Warriors, Gold Star families and community members.
Weekly, wear blue athletes meet to honor the fallen and train for endurance events. At the start of their runs, the name of each military member killed on that weekend over the last thirteen years of war is called out in a Circle of Remembrance. Then, wear blue runners call out the names of those for whom they personally run – their husbands, wives, parents, siblings, battle buddies, neighbors and/or friends. At official wear blue events, American flags are lined along the race course to honor the fallen, a tribute called the wear blue Mile; each flag is hand-held making it a true living memorial. Placed in front of these flags are large posters with photographs of the Fallen. The wear blue Mile humanizes the ultimate sacrifice made by these American heroes.
wear blue: run to remember has active chapters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA, Springfield, VA,/Washington, D.C., and Fort Bragg, NC. Additionally, there are dozens of meet-up locations around the country. wear blue is an all-inclusive community in which participants are never asked to raise money to run. wear blue: run to remember officially participates in major national races including the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series, the Army Ten Miler, and the Marine Corps Marathon. wear blue partnered with Run for the Fallen, another nonprofit that honors Fallen service members, to host a special Memorial Day run in 2012, wear blue Runs for the Fallen. The goal was to run 6,764 miles – one mile for each fallen military member in the Global War on Terror. That goal was far exceeded when over 13,000 miles were run, in blue, for those who made the ultimate sacrifice on that meaningful day. In 2014, wear blue set a goal of 6,808 runners (one for each service member lost in the Global War on Terror). Exceeding that goal, 8,395 runners committed 39,336 miles.