As many as two dozen volunteers will spend part of Veteran’s Day this Sunday morning passing the Flag.
The annual Veteran’s Day Flag Relay will span approximately 30 miles across Armstrong County. According to volunteer Michael Nanney, members of a group called “Team Red, White & Blue” will carry the American Flag, beginning in southern Armstrong County, and jog the Armstrong Trail, passing the Flag at various points to other volunteers until they reach the northern tip of the trail along Redbank Creek.
“Ten years ago, a retired veteran from Armstrong County began an event where we relay the Flag all the way across Armstrong County along the Rails to Trails,” Nanney said. “Team Red, White and Blue, a national organization supporting veterans, got involved, and we carry on that mission.”
Nanney said the volunteers are bringing attention to the holiday.
“This year, we will have between one and two dozen volunteers. This is their way – some are civilians and some are veterans – to contributing to awareness of Veteran’s Day within the community.”
Nanney said Team Red, White & Blue works to enrich the lives of veterans.
“There are a number of veterans support groups out there. (Team Red, White & Blue) believes in connecting veterans to their community through both physical and social activities. They try to engage both the civilian community and veterans in awareness of veterans’ issues and concerns. For instance, 22 veterans die every day due to suicide. So we all have an obligation as members of this community to raise awareness and do the right thing for the veterans. This is one of the opportunities that our veterans have through Team Red, White and Blue to connect with the community and develop a sense of camaraderie through these physical and social activities and hopefully improve and enrich their lives.”
Nanney said they will start before sunrise and hope to finish up above Redbank Creek by 11AM.
“We have varying levels of participation. Some are new to running and not aggressive and may only run two-and-a-half miles. Some veteran runners will log a distance of ten miles. There will always be two people at any time to help trade off the Flag and work as a team to carry the Flag over that long distance.”
The Armstrong County chapter plans several events each year.
“There are two major events that Team Red, White & Blue Armstrong County is involved in. One is a 9-11 Remembrance 5K (race) and then the Veteran’s Day Flag Relay across Armstrong County in addition to our support of events in other adjoining counties.”
Nanney said readers interested in supporting the mission of Team Red, White & Blue either monetarily or through participation should visit the website at teamRBW.org.