Run recognizes veterans

Army, Air Force, Marine and Navy ROTC members and civilians woke at the crack of dawn Thursday and pounded the pavement to benefit veterans.

"It’s very important to give our veterans the recognition that they deserve, and I am happy that the University is giving our program so much support," nutrition junior Rachel Lanehart said.

Lanehart, who will begin active duty in May, said she was glad to see the show of support for the troops.

Approximately 150 members of the Houston Corps of Cadets, comprised of Army, Air Force, Marine and Navy ROTC members and civilians participated in the three-mile jog around campus at approximately 6:35 a.m., electrical engineering junior John Thurman said.

"Everything went really well today," Thurman said. "We got a lot of support from the campus police in helping to make sure our run went smoothly, and I was happy to see some of the general public join us."

The three-mile formation jog around campus was hosted by the UH Veteran’s Affairs Office, along with the San Jacinto Chapter of the Air Force Association and the Houston Corps of Cadets.

The jog was meant to salute hospitalized veterans and honor the nation’s troops serving in the U.S. and abroad, according to a release.

Thurman, a physical fitness squadron commander for the UH Air Force ROTC and organizer of the event, said he was very pleased with the turnout.

Participants signed Valentine’s Day cards and gave donations to help benefit hospitalized veterans. While the gesture may seem small, ROTC Cadet Capt. Jared Schultz, public affairs squadron commander, said the former servicemen and women are always very happy to be honoread for their services.

"After we deliver the cards and cakes we usually just sit and talk with the some of the veterans," Schultz said. "They always have a lot of interesting things to say and are happy to see us."

Schultz said that judging by the success of Thursday’s run and the continuing growth of its program, the group plans on making the Valentine’s Day event a tradition for years to come.

The UH military program has more than 300 cadets and midshipmen and is the second largest corps in the Gulf Coast region, according to a release.

"Hopefully, next year we can have even more civilians come out for the run," Schultz said. "It’s important that we get the message out that the corps program is growing and will give students a chance to be very successful."

Junior and senior ROTC cadets will deliver Valentine’s Day cards and cake today to hospitalized veterans staying at the Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center and DeGeorge Home.

Leave a Comment