U.S. Army Veteran and Turlock resident Cory Smith has a new mission – to raise awareness and support for his inaugural 9/11 Red, White and Blue 5-Mile Run, which will raise funds for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Last year on Sept. 11 Smith, who served in the 1st battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, and a friend paraded down the streets of Turlock. Smith was holding a U.S. Flag and his friend, a Marine vet, held the Marines Flag.
This year Smith wants to take this operation to a new level.
Smith's inspiration isn’t complex. He loves his country and understands the importance and history behind the U.S. Flag.
“I honestly just wanted to do it because patriotism isn’t like it should be anymore. You see more flags from other countries being flown more than our own. I’m just representing my country as best as I can. Most people don’t know the stories behind that flag. The people that have fought for that flag and died for that flag,” he said.
The Wounded Warrior Project, which provides programs for injured service members, has a special place in Smith’s heart. He served in Kunar Provence, Afghanistan, in 2009 and 2010 with the Army. He had good friends who died and he currently has friends who are receiving help from the Wounded Warriors Project.
The run will start at 6:45 p.m. Sept. 11 at Donnelly Park in Turlock. The run will trace a route down Fulkerth Road, to Geer Road, to Monte Vista Avenue, and down Golden State Boulevard, returning to Donnelly Park.
So far on his Facebook page, Smith has nearly 150 people who have committed to join him in the run.
To raise awareness Cory has enlisted the help of local fire stations, police, hospitals, gyms, schools and friends to get the word out. He wants to raise as much money as possible for the Wounded Warriors Project. He has even commissioned local Marine recruits to carry flags from each of the U.S. Armed Forces.
For those who cannot run, riding bikes is acceptable.
For more information visit www.facebook.com/events/209335759225036/ or search for “9/11 red, white and blue run.”