VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Runners prepared for a grueling, 250-mile-long journey Thursday morning, honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice by traveling up the entire state of Virginia.
The annual Run for the Fallen began in Virginia Beach, with runners carrying flags from the starting line all the way to the finish in Arlington National Cemetery.
Fathers, wives, brothers and children taking place in Thursday's run waited to hear the names of their fallen family members.
The loss of a child in battle is a feeling that's all too familiar for George Letz, the founder of Honor and Remember, who lost his son, Tony, during the war in Iraq.
"An individual can die twice: One when they die, and once when the last person calls out their name," Letz said. "We vow that we will continue here, to our last breath, to remember these names and call them out loud."
Packed with pretzels and Gatorade, the runners departed from Fort Story at 7 a.m., taking step number one of their long journey to Arlington National Cemetery.
In teams of four, each runner will total about 14 miles each day, stopping at every mile marker to honor a different group of fallen service members.
Come Sunday when the race ends, runners will have called out 765 names.
If you'd like to join in on this event, click here to see a map of the runners' journey. The map lays out every stop along the trip, along with what time the service members will be there and who will be honored at each stop.
WTKR reporter Penny Kmitt was there when the event first started and even went to one of the mile markers alongside the runners.
RIGHT NOW — these runners are making the 250 mile journey from Fort Story to @ArlingtonNatl to honor fallen service members. At each mile, they will honor a different soldier.— Penny Kmitt (@pennylikeacoin) April 28, 2022
We’re following them along on their journey this morning! Watch live on @WTKR3: https://t.co/PKPLwb3wnd pic.twitter.com/QE9mQhY6kK