Sunday, the U.S. military announced a somber milestone in the more than decade old war in Afghanistan. The death toll has hit 2,000 American troops. The news comes on the same day that Iowans are remembering the close to 100 men and women who died serving their country.
“I`m thinking about those people that I do know that didn`t come back,” says Iraq veteran Luke Craven.
Others came to remember their fallen soldier.
“It`s a way for me to keep his memory alive. For me to remember him and not forget any of the memories that we have,” says Denae Erickson.
Erickson’s brother is one of the 96 Iowans honored at the 3rd annual Remembrance Run. Army Corporal Chad Groepper was killed in Iraq when his patrol came under attack in February 2008.
“He was the baby. He was 21. We were very close,” she says.
The 5 K raises money for Iowa remembers. The charity provides support for Iowa families whose loves ones died serving their country.
“We want to celebrate the soldiers. We want to remember them, but also celebrate the sacrifice and also the journey the families have gone through,” says Sarah Espinoza.
“It’s very emotional, especially when you recognize a lot of names on the list,” says Craven.
Participation in the Remembrance Run has nearly doubled each year. Sunday, more than 850 people registered to run at Raccoon River Park.