The Shepherd’s Men and members of the community gathered on a rain-soaked Saturday morning to run 22 kilometers through Johnson City to raise money and awareness for the Shepherd’s Center in Atlanta.
The Shepherd’s men hold events each year around the country during the week leading up to Memorial Day. They always run 22 kilometers carrying 22 pounds of extra weight on their bodies to raise awareness to the fact that an average of 22 veterans commit suicide each day. They also raise money at each stop that benefits the Shepherd’s Center in Atlanta, a facility that helps veterans of post-9/11 wars recover from traumatic brain injuries sustained in combat.
The group started at the ETSU football stadium around 8 a.m. on Saturday and wound a solemn path through Johnson City. With some runners holding American flags, the group made a stop in the VA Cemetery to pay their respects to Sgt. James Spurrier, who is buried on the Mountain Home campus. Spurrier won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism during World War II.
The runners also stopped at the Veteran’s Memorial just outside the VA campus before making their way to the finish line in the parking lot of TruPoint Bank. TruPoint was a sponsor of the event, which was part of a seven-day campaign that started in Chicago and ended at the Shepherd’s Center in Atlanta on Memorial Day.
For more information on the Shepherd’s Men and the work being done at the Shepherd’s Center, visit www.shepherdsmen.com.