Overton Brooks VA Medical Center
Running for Warriors
In the early morning hours of Saturday, approximately 460 runners from the Greater Shreveport Area ran for Veterans during the 2014 Warrior Run, which was held at Veterans Park near the Red River.
Participants congregated under a granite eagle as they registered for either the 5K or 10K option. While most chose to run, others walked to show their support for Veterans. All proceeds went to cover the cost of the race as well as to Veterans’ programs at Overton Brooks VA Medical Center. Such programs include the Homeless Veterans Program, Women’s Clinic and Social Work among others, according to Voluntary Service at Overton Brooks VAMC.
Usually busy, the Clyde Fant Parkway was quiet as runners and walkers alike worked to finish their respective heats, turning the freeway into a river of red shirts.
Voluntary Service worked with Barksdale Federal Credit Union, and other sponsors, to make the race a reality this year. In addition to the credit union, Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes also sponsored the event and provided information about their efforts to support wounded Veterans.
“We work a lot with Veterans who were severely wounded in Iraq, Afghanistan and everywhere in between,” said Daughenbaugh. “We try to make contact with them when they’re leaving the service or when they’re entering the VA. The region that I work for reaches out to severely wounded Veterans east of the Mississippi.”
Daughenbaugh, Marine and regional vice president for Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, says that it’s about giving back to Veterans who have already given so much. Founded in 2004, the coalition works to support Veterans who have been severely disabled as a result of combat operations since 9/11. Support ranges from providing financial aid and health care, according to coalition literature. The coalition also provides part time employment opportunities for Veterans who can only work out of their homes due to disabilities.
Prizes were given for first and second place for each age category while everyone who participated received a red shirt sporting the 2014 Warrior Run logo. Founded in 2010, the Warrior Run has been a mainstay event for Overton Brooks VAMC ever since.
“We had an awesome turn out this year,” said Reginald Hardy, service chief for Voluntary Service. “Originally this (Warrior Run) was started here at the hospital by a small group of employees who wanted to have a run to support Veterans. Since then the event has really grown and this year we had an outstanding turnout.”
Esther Comb, voluntary specialist, poses with Reginald Hardy, service chief for Voluntary Service. Voluntary Service at Overton Brooks VAMC worked with various sponsors and organizations to make the 2014 Warrior Run a reality. Comb is one of the founding members of the race.
The Warrior Run took place on the south-bound portion of the Clyde Fant Parkway along the Red River. All participants began the race at Veterans Park next to Overton Brooks VAMC.