02242010uso_rftlogoweb5k-(2).jpgEvery morning while in garrison, the soldiers of Fort Bragg hit the streets. They run miles and miles. And when they are deployed, they exchange their tennis shoes for boots and instead of the safe run along Gruber Road, they climb through mountain passes and pound streets littered with IEDs. To show its support for these troops, the USO of North Carolina Fort Bragg Center is hosting its 2nd Annual 5K Walk/Run for the Troops on March 6 at Fayetteville Technical Community College. They are asking the community to put on their running shoes to do more than just raise funds for the troops. They want the event to truly show the community’s love and support for its troops. Participants will walk or run in honor and memory of service men and women.

There were more than 400 participants who helped raise more than $12,000 for the first walk/run. With such a great outcome last year, the goal is to double the number of participants and funds raised. All proceeds go to the Fort Bragg USO’s facility and outreach programs.

The local organization sends care packages to service members while they are deployed overseas. It also gives rack pack items, which are basic necessity items that are already waiting for service members in their rooms so they have the essentials they need after they return from deployment. With those special programs and so much more that is offered by the nonprofi t organization, it’s important for the community to participate in events and fundraisers. Volunteers are always welcome.

There will be fun for all ages in addition to the main walk/run event. Participants can rest legs and relax backs in massage chairs that will be in service. Some will leave with more than their free T-shirt as they win prizes from drawings. The children will appreciate the delicious snow cones, exciting activities and friendly clowns that will be on hand for entertainment. Enjoy the refreshments and warm interaction with other supporters of service men and women.

“Valley Auto World and quite a few businesses in the community already support the USO of N.C. at Fort Bragg and this is such a big event, we couldn’t do it without them,” says USCNCFB Center Director, Hoku Hobbs. “Last year was a huge success and we want another great turnout to benefi t the troops and families of Fort Bragg and Pope Air Force Base. The proceeds go towards our outreach programs and maintaining our 4,200 square foot facilities that have recreational equipment, computers with Internet access, free wifi and other services. It’s really a home-away-fromhome and everything is free for our patrons who are usually single soldiers who live in surrounding barracks.”

There are several ways to show support. Register online for $20 adult, $12 for participants under the age of 16. Those unable to make it out on race day can still show support by donating $20 and the event T-shirt will be sent by mail. Others can register at 7:30 a.m. on the day of the walk/ run. The race starts on Hull Road at Parking Lot #5, on the campus of Fayetteville Technical Community College. The race starts promptly at 8:30 a.m. so put the baby in the stroller, dress comfortably, don’t forget the camera and come out to support local troops.

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