Virtual run honors fallen service member

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Benjamin Aronson
  • 15th Wing Public Affairs

The 17th Operational Weather Squadron adapted their plans to honor a fallen service member and promote physical fitness while following the Center for Disease Control guidance to social distance.

Despite not being able to host Pat’s Run, as large group gatherings violate social distance practice, the unit continued the event virtually.

Pat’s Run is a 4.2-mile run, in honor of Patrick Tillman. Tillman was an Arizona Cardinals football player who chose to leave the National Football League to serve in the U.S. Army following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

 He was killed while serving in Afghanistan in 2004.

“It’s important to remember we are in a war and to pay respect to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said Capt Sean Zoufaly, 17th OWS operations flight commander.

Zoufaly, who is in charge of the 17th OWS Health and Wellness Committee, saw it as an opportunity to promote healthy activity and continue with extracurricular events, despite being socially distant.

Second Lt. Alexander Paik, 17th OWS Operations officer and event lead, moved the event online enabling Airmen to complete workouts on their own, or with their family, and encouraged Airmen to send in photos of them working out.

“Making the best out of our situation, I challenged my squadron to go out and give their 100% on April 18th by doing some sort of exercise in remembrance of Pat Tillman and his sacrifice,”, said Paik. 

Airmen performed the 4.2 mile runs or hikes or completed 42 exercises of their choice ranging from push-ups to squats. The number 42 represents Tillman’s jersey number while playing football at Arizona State University.

“Remembrance workouts are a great way to go out and be active, but more importantly, to honor and remember the men and women of the armed forces who have lost their lives in defense of our freedom”, said Paik.