Military community runs for missing servicemen: POW/MIA 5K

BOX ELDER, S.D. — Families of missing servicemen go weeks, months, and even years holding on to the hope that their loved ones will be found. On Saturday over 70 people ran in honor of prisoners of war, missing soldiers, and their families.

For the 5th year in a row, the Air and Space Museum in Box Elder hosted the POW/MIA 5K.

Community members, airmen from Ellsworth, and veterans all came out in support of the over 80,000 that are still listed as missing. The event was organized by the Air Force Sergeants Association.

“Today I am thinking about the sacrifices I made and the sacrifices of the people I was deployed with made. Some that are still here and some that have departed. Just remembering and paying honor,” said Kevin Ott, the organizer.

The Logistics Readiness Squadron (LRS) at Ellsworth had the most entries this year. LRS took home first place in both the men and women’s categories but they say it’s all for their brothers and sisters in arms.

“There are families still out there waiting for their loved ones and for them, the closure hasn’t come yet. So, our service members upholding the Constitution, defending our freedom and liberties is important; it’s absolutely imperative that we always remember those who are serving, even though we may not know their outcome,” said Major Joe Crespo with LRS.   

People of all ages were welcome to run and there were even a few kids that entered the race.

“It’s a great community/family opportunity. The route is simple and easy and weather is pretty good as it is fantastic today so it’s just a great opportunity for folks to come out,” said Ott.  

All the entry fees go towards local military and military organizations. The run was also in honor of all those who serve or have served in the United States Armed Forces. They recognized the 18,000 airmen from Ellsworth that have been deployed since 9/11.

“It’s extremely important to us, that we’re representing not only our squadrons, our wing, all the American citizens, our country and everyone around the world defending freedom and liberties,” said SMSgt. Bob Wyman with LRS.

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