HERoes in Deed Run Honors Warwick’s Lt Col. Jamie Leonard

Third annual run brings out vets, runners, and supporters of local veterans
By Yvonne Marcotte, Epoch Times
June 15, 2016 3:31 pm Last Updated: June 17, 2016 2:17 pm

WARWICK—Some ran the 10K, others the 5K, and some just walked the course, while youngsters did the Kids Fun Run during the third annual 2016 Memorial HERo Run on June 11 in Warwick.

Runners prepare for  2016 Memorial Run for Heroes In Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Runners prepare for 2016 Memorial Run for HERoes in Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

In its third year, the run was in memory of Lt. Col. Jamie Leonard who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2013. According to Elizabeth Harman, executive director of HERoes in Deed, about 260 runners signed up. 

Elizabeth Harman with (L-R) Ava, Lina, and Eva at 2016 Memorial Run for Heroes In Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Elizabeth Harman, executive director of HERoes in Deed, with (L-R) Ava, Lina, and Eva at 2016 Memorial Run for Heroes in Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Jamie was a soldier’s soldier.
— Dan Burger, commander, Warwick Valley VFW

The Warwick Valley VFW presented a plaque to Jamie Leonard’s family, who came out in force.  VFW Commander Dan Burger said, “Jamie was a soldier’s soldier. The Warwick Valley veterans of foreign wars will forever remember LTC Jamie E. Leonard as the embodiment of duty, honor, and country,” he said.

HeroesInDeed Run in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Members of Warwick VFW Post 4462 at the HERoes in Deed run in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

John MacDonald, senior vice commander of the post 4662, said they were there “to make people aware that we actually exist. A lot of the young guys coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq have felt some kind of disconnect” and the VFW is there to support returning vets, he said.

Runners, Walkers, and Kids

Running teams and individuals who knew Jamie participated. For the younger kids, an obstacle course was set up. Children ran up and down bleachers, jumped through tires, crawled under colorful zig zagged strips, jumped off stacked hay bales, and ran through two long plastic tubes.

Children take to the Kids Fun Run obstacles course at the 2016 Memorial Run for Heroes In Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Children in the kids Fun Run obstacle course at the 2016 Memorial HERoes in Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

Alexis Gomez, Emma Zahra, and Emily Forman from the Chester Boot Camp gym wanted to support the vets.

(L-R) Alexis Gomez, Emma Zahra, and Emily Forman at Elizabeth Harman at 2016 Memorial Run for Heroes In Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
(L-R) Alexis Gomez, Emma Zahra, and Emily Forman at the 2016 Memorial Run for HERoes in Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

Stacy Fitzgerald, her husband, and daughter ran the 5K while her son ran the Fun Run obstacle course. Kendra Wendt was there for her first 5K and just wanted to support the fundraiser.

(L-R) Stacy Fitzgerald and Kendra Wendt with her daughters at the 2016 Memorial Run for Heroes In Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
(L-R) Stacy Fitzgerald and Kendra Wendt with her daughters at the 2016 Memorial Run for Heroes in Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

Karen Devora walked the 5K to honor her former student. Devora taught Leonard in the sixth grade. “Jamie was a great girl. Did us proud,” she said.

Karen Devora at the 2016 Memorial Run for Heroes In Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Karen Devora at the 2016 Memorial Run for Heroes in Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

Bill Dawson said he was there to support the organization. “I’m not going to race, but I’ll be running.”

(L-R) Bill Dawsn and Max Goodwin at the 2016 Memorial Run for Heroes In Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Bill Dawson (L) and Max Goodwin at the 2016 Memorial Run for Heroes in Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

The run was pleasant and interesting according to some posts on Facebook. Laurie Courage wrote, “What a fun and beautiful course!”

Runners begin the 2016 Memorial Run for Heroes In Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)
Runners begin the 2016 Memorial Run for Heroes in Deed fundraiser in Warwick on June 11, 2016. (Yvonne Marcotte/Epoch Times)

HERoes in Deed says on its website that “Jaimie’s drive to make the world a better place is the force behind our mission.” The nonprofit is finding ways to learn what the community and local veterans and service members need to develop programs.

The organization has given out scholarships in previous years.

This year, HERoes partnered with the Warwick Historical Society and Family Central to build a play area on the historical society’s property, Baird’s Tavern, Harman said.

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