Those with a pair of no-longer-needed, gently-used boots can donate them to Fort Bragg Army Community Service’s annual 5K run, which will feature a field filled with military boots to tribute our nation’s fallen heroes.
Taking place on Aug. 28 in Hedrick Stadium at the military installation Fort Bragg, near Fayetteville, North Carolina, the Run, Honor, Remember 5K Memorial display event is open to Department of Defense cardholders and their guests.
“The ‘Run, Honor, Remember’ memorial boot display honors our fallen service members since Sept. 11, 2001. The Fort Bragg Survivor Outreach Services collects military-type boots and prepares them for display at Hedrick Stadium. Each boot represents a fallen hero from all branches of service,” Charlotte Watson, Fort Bragg Survivor Outreach Services coordinator, told FOX News.
“The families of the fallen heroes are still here,” Watson added. “Grief doesn’t just go away. A program like ours, Survivor Outreach Services, honors their fallen service member’s legacy.”
The memorial display of boots on Fort Bragg began in 2014 as a way to commemorate those who have given their all to their nation. “The event is an opportunity for the community to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice serving our nation by participating in the run or visiting the memorial boot display,” Watson elaborates.
Volunteers prepare the boots by carefully tying each lace and placing an empty water bottle inside each boot to keep it erect.
“The boots are lined up in rows across the field with a photo of a fallen service member and includes a unit and date of death,” Watson said.
About 7,500 boots are needed to complete the display, Watson said.
Currently, event planners are looking to collect 1,000 more military-type boots in good condition to reach their goal, and they will take boots from any branch of military service.
The lineup of boots is apparently a chills-inducing scene for all who witness it.
“It’s a powerful sight to see the memorial boot display when doing a run around Hedrick Stadium or walking across the field seeing each individual boot after being carefully prepared by volunteers,” comments Elvia Kelly, Fort Bragg Garrison Public Affairs Office, who notes that the boots are lined up in order from 2001 to 2021, now reflecting two decades of heroes that we’ve lost and continue to honor.
For more information on where to donate boots, check out the Facebook post for drop-off locations at Fort Bragg below or call 910-396-0384.