Turlock resident and U.S. Army Afghanistan veteran Cory Smith is inviting the community to participate in the Third Annual 9/11 Red, White and Blue 5K Run.
Two years ago Smith, who served in the Kunar Provence, Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010, paraded through the streets of Turlock holding a U.S. flag with a U.S. Marine veteran friend along side him.
Last 9/11, his event had approximately 400 participants and raised $800 for the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), which provides programs for injured service members. WWP has a special place in Smith’s heart, as he had good friends and fellow soldiers who died or were injured in Afghanistan alongside him.
On his Facebook page Smith posted, “I'd like this year to be even bigger so let everyone know and let's do this.”
Smith’s inspiration for the 5k isn’t complex, he simply loves his country and understands the importance and history behind the U.S. Flag and the event of Sept. 11, 2001.
“I honestly just wanted to do it because patriotism isn’t like it should be anymore,” Smith said last year. “You see more flags from other countries being flown than our own. I’m just representing my country as best as I can. Most people don’t know the stories behind the flag. The people that have fought for that flag and died for that flag.”
The run will start at Donnelly Park, at 600 Pedras Rd., at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 11. Registration for the run will be held from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the day of the event, with the run beginning at 6:30 p.m. For questions or to register early, call Smith at 209-345-3550 or visit the Facebook page.
So far 368 people have registered on Facebook.