• Runners gather to honor the fallen

  • On May 6, 2007, while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom, Col. James Harrison Jr., 47th commandant of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, and Master Sgt. Wilberto Sabalu Jr., former USDB corrections specialist, were killed at Pol-e-Charki, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from small-arms fire.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    On May 6, 2007, while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom, Col. James Harrison Jr., 47th commandant of the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, and Master Sgt. Wilberto Sabalu Jr., former USDB corrections specialist, were killed at Pol-e-Charki, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from small-arms fire.
    On Nov. 1, 2007, and Sept. 28, 2010, respectively, the Fort Leavenworth community remembered them by naming streets in their honor.
    On Sept. 14, they were remembered again when retired Army Reserve Maj. John Bauer and his wife, Judy Bauer, former Department of the Army civilian, ran for them during the Army Community Service Survivor Outreach Services’ ninth annual Run/Walk for the Fallen, which began and ended outside the Resiliency Center.
    John Bauer, who was Sabalu’s company commander at the USDB, said events that remember fallen veterans are important.
    “It is a way of honoring them,” he said. “We’re doing something that they can’t do anymore.”
    Judy Bauer, who ran for family-friend Harrison, agreed.
    “Everybody says that you die twice,” she said. “Once when you’re gone, and then when you’re not remembered. So to be able to honor them and their sacrifice, I think it is extremely important because if not you just kind of go to the wayside.”
    Harrison and Sabalu were just two of hundreds of service members who were remembered during the event as nearly 1,000 people from the Fort Leavenworth and Leavenworth communities participated, running for fallen co-workers, friends and family members.
    “We have 805 families that are assigned to Survivor Outreach Services,” said Christina Long, SOS program manager. “This is a chance for them to come and enjoy each other’s company and remember their fallen hero.”
    Before the run began, Garrison Commander Col. Harry Hung addressed the crowd.
    “September is a special month. Eighteen years ago, on Sept. 11, we bore witness to another day of infamy in American history when evil and perverse forces chose to strike at the heart of America,” Hung said. “While lives and buildings were lost, the American spirit and resolve did not shrivel and dissolve. We became stronger as a community and as a nation. The calling to serve and protect our way of life became apparent as men and women chose to sign up and wear our military uniform.”
    Maj. Jason Wolfe, Operations Group Delta, Mission Command Training Program, ran for such an individual — former National Football League Arizona Cardinals safety Cpl. Patrick Tillman.
    Tillman was deployed with the 75th Ranger Regiment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom when he was killed on April 22, 2004, during a patrol vehicle attack near Spera, Afghanistan.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Next to 9-11, (Tillman) was the primary reason for me going into the Army,” Wolfe said. “He left the NFL to go into the Rangers after 9-11. That he turned down a multi-million-dollar contract to serve his country is inspiring. It just goes to show the sacrifices people make for our country.”
    Hung said the event is also about military families.
    “The last Sunday in September is also recognized as Gold Star Mother’s and Family’s Day. It is a day to recognize the strength and sacrifices of our military families,” Hung said. “You have given so much year after year, and I am privileged to honor you and the sacrifices of your loved ones. You have a special place in our hearts and in this community; you will always be part of the Fort Leavenworth family.”
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