In just under 2 years, our annual race, sponsored by the Windy25 Memorial Fund, has raised over $100,000 for TAPS and supported military families.
In 2005, our unit, Big Windy, while deployed to Afghanistan, experienced a horrible accident with one of our helicopters call-sign Windy25 which resulted in the death of 5 of our comrades CW2 Clint Prather, CW2 David Ayala, SSG Chuck Sanders, SPC Pendelton Sykes, and SPC Michael Spivey. 11 others lost their lives in the accident. Their families were suddenly faced with the loss of their loved ones; and, our unit, in its own grief, still continued with our combat mission requirements, soldiering on with the vow and commitment to honor our heroes and remember their sacrifices by giving back to our military community as a tribute to the Windy25 crew. The Windy25 Memorial 5K race was formed to do just that.
This cause is VERY personal to me. As the Commander of the unit, I promised the soldiers and families of our lost comrades, and the soldiers of Big Windy, that I would continue to honor the heroes of Windy25, support their families and loved ones they left behind, and vow to continue to celebrate their lives every year. This race is to remember their ultimate sacrifice and, to do so, by giving back, on their behalf, to those that need it most and need it so desperately at this moment. I have been amazed at the support from our Windy25 families they are so pleased and honored to know that their loved one is being memorialized and remembered in this fashion. "Keep their spirit and their legacy alive," one father told me. I will not waiver in my commitment to do just that.
With your help we are certain to meet our $100K fundraising goal for the 2013 race. Thank you for your incredible support and generosity.