Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lexington KY STEPS to HONOR Walk - July 4th

Join us as we honor our heroes on July 4th. We plan to walk the two mile “downtown” portion of the Bluegrass 10k as a group. We will wear our STEPS to HONOR t-shirts as well as the STEPS to HONOR running bibs which will display the names of our heroes. (You do NOT need to register for the race to participate with our group.)

If you are participating in the full Bluegrass 10k and would be willing to wear a STEPS to HONOR t-shirt to help us promote our program and honor our heroes, please contact us as soon as possible to purchase a shirt and a running bib. (Shirts are $10, running bibs are free with the purchase of the t-shirt.)

If you are planning to walk with our group on Saturday, July 4th, here are the details you will need to know:
1. Please contact us with your intent to participate by Friday, July 3rd.
2. Plan to purchase your shirt and running bib by Friday, July 3rd.
3. Meet at Thoroughbred Park by the horse statues on Saturday morning by 7:10.
4. The race starts at 7:30 and we will NOT be able to wait for late arrivals.
5. Parking is limited as many streets are closed so allow plenty of time for finding a parking spot.
The route we are walking will start and end at Thoroughbred Park and be 2 to 2.5 miles in length.

Contact us at if you plan to walk with us or if you need to purchase a t-shirt and/or running bib.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Jeff Jones is an officer for the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Police. Jeff received the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association’s Officer of the Month in May 2009. This award is given by the CPAAA, but the officers in each unit vote for the recipient of the award. Officer Jones is currently with the CLEAR unit, and has previously been in patrol and training, and served with the Emergency Response Unit. CLEAR - Community Law Enforcement Action Response Program concentrates officers’ efforts in specific neighborhoods by providing both a permanent day time presence and night patrols. Officer Jones has also served in the US Military. Our family knows Officer Jones as “Mr. Jeff”. He was our youngest son’s Sunday School teacher years ago when our son was about 5 years old. Mr. Jeff has always been one of our favorites. His life is one of service, whether it be on foreign soil with our military, right here in Lexington in law enforcement, or in the church teaching children about Christ. Thanks for your hard work and dedication to serve, Mr. Jeff. We are blessed to know you! It was an honor to run a few miles in honor of someone who gives to the rest of us on a daily basis.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

How's it going with your walking group?

We want you to share what is going on with your walking group. Send us an update and a few pictures. Share your ideas and get others involved. Here in Lexington, we have a group that is planning to walk together in the Bluegrass 10k. The event is held every year on July 4th. We plan to walk together as a group wearing our STEPS to HONOR t-shirts. Each week we gather together at a different location in town and walk to prepare for the Bluegrass 10k. It's funny to watch people drive by and stare at us. I guess it looks a bit odd to have a group of people all wearing the same shirt walking on the side of the road! What's the point of all these shirts? People ask questions and then we get to share about our heroes and remind everyone that we all need to be thankful for what these men and women do for us. We'd love to hear what you are doing to honor the heroes in your community. Join our blog or send us an email! By the way, if you are out walking with your family, you need to honor a hero at the same time.

The Unsung Heroes

Serving in Special Forces is one job that we all consider fascinating. The main reason we feel this way is because we don’t really know a lot about what these people do. Very few are selected to train for these elite jobs. Even fewer complete the training successfully. Once placed on a Special Forces team, individuals continue to train in highly specialized areas, often for years. If these people are not deployed, they are training. High expectations are placed upon them at all times. Most of what they do is highly classified and they are not allowed to divulge what they are doing or where they are doing it. Even their family members don’t know what they are doing or where they are serving. It is stressful enough to have a loved one deployed, but imagine not even knowing where they are or what they are doing. Did you know that most of these heroes won’t receive awards they’ve earned? Because of the highly classified nature of their work, they can’t divulge any information about their work. Recognition for awards earned can’t be given because in doing so, classified information would be revealed. One of the most difficult things for me to do is keep a secret. I can’t imagine doing something really challenging and patriotic and then having to keep it to myself....forever! It takes a person with a lot of integrity and a lot of self-control to keep our nation’s secrets safe. I ran in honor of all those that serve in all branches of our Special Forces during this past week. Thank you for all you do. You are the true unsung heroes. We don’t know what you do, but we are sure glad you do it. Thanks for defending our freedom and keeping us safe from harm.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

LCpl Jonathan LeRoy

Our family is always looking for ways to stay connected, we are spread across the country from NY to KS. As a family we decided to walk 2,500 miles to honor my deployed son. LCpl Jonathan LeRoy. There are 18 of us walking ages 7-61. Last week we walked 149 miles. We walk in honor of others too. Sunday night my husband and I walked around the VA, we walked in honor of all those living there who gave of themselves for our freedom. Yesterday we walked the river front in Louisville. As we walked my husbands blackberry rang over and over giving him details of a Retired National Guard General who died over the weekend. We walked in honor of him and his family and the sacrafices they have made.

Today Is really hot, and I was thinking that I really didn't want to walk, then I got a phone call from Jon saying that it is 102 degrees there today, and he just finished running 5 miles. I will walk today in honor of Jon and all the others in his unit.

Monday, June 1, 2009

34 Years of Service Can Touch a Lot of Lives

From my high school friend, Karen O’Meara, I share her words of honor and remembrance for her father, Patrick B. O'Meara (Col. USA. Artillery Ret.)

I am missing my father for ten years now. Today, as we have done on this same day for the last ten years, I picked up my mother for our Sunday trek to Section 59, Arlington Cemetery. Memorial Day is the only day you will see flags placed by the grave markers. The symmetry is awe inspiring as you glance at the thousands in your line of sight.

As you may know, for the last twenty odd years, the Sunday before Memorial Day serves as the day Rolling Thunder comes to Washington bringing their message "Bring our Soldiers Home". It cracks me up to see my mom whooping and hollering at half a million leather clad bikers as they que up in the Pentagon lot for their trip. It gives me a thrill to see the recognition that was never given to the men and women who served this country during the Vietnam War.

I was born in Ft. Hood, Texas. Elvis Presley was there when my father was a young 2nd Lieutenant. I was born in Ft. Hood because the Army decided sending a woman 9 months pregnant on a troop ship to Alaska might not be a smart idea. Two weeks later, the O'Meara's arrived in Alaska on the USNS Frederick E. Funston. Dad was a young Battery Commander and personally fired a 21 gun salute to President Eisenhower when he visited. One of the shells serves as an ash tray on my patio. My father served in Vietnam as an early advisor to the South Vietnamese Government. The year he returned we moved six times. No sooner had my parents purchased their first home, and my father was shipped off to Korea. 

In Germany in the early 70's it was the height of the anti-war movement. Drugs were rampant and my dad once donned a wig to meet a young drug informant. When I was eleven years old, my dad one day at came home and slammed what I knew much later to be a brick of hash. At the top of his lungs he screamed at each of us "Do you know what that is???" My sister still in a high chair blinked, as my father continued his tirade of how he just threw an 18 year old kid in the brig for selling a block of 99% camel dung and 1 percent hash. Needless to say, drugs never tempted me in school and even in college. Kids called me a narc.

My father was a man of small stature, but he had an outsized attitude that won him many admirers and maybe got him in trouble once or twice in his career. I never saw him ask his soldiers to do something he, himself would not do. He retired with 34 years in the service; one of the oldest active duty Colonel's. He would boast that his greatest assignment was as Commander, Division Artillery for the 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One). His final role was as the Chief of Staff for the Presidential Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution. It was an odd job for a Cannon Cocker, but one for which he was specifically requested to serve by the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Warren Berger. A role he continued even after the Chief Justice's death. 

My father died of a condition from exposure to Agent Orange on April 10, 1999. Four years ago, he was recognized at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial for his sacrifice. My father's final place of rest is on the east side of McClellan Drive, near the McClellan Arch. Col. Patrick B. O'Meara was never one to pull rank in a town that does so with such vigor. During his twenty years at the Pentagon, I am aware he only asked for one favor: that his final resting place in Arlington be under a cherry tree and nowhere near sight of the Pentagon. Today, I honored my father, visiting him in Section 59 under a Cherry Tree and the Pentagon, nowhere in sight. ~Karen O’Meara

I was so glad to get just a glimpse of Col. Patrick B. O’Meara’s life of service. It is incredible to think that each one that serves can be such a important part of our nation’s history. Back when I was young and running around with his daughter in high school, I didn’t understand the significance of the man or his service. I’m glad I finally get it. It would be a crying shame to live and never know the beauty of the lives of those that made this life possible for all of us. Running miles in honor of Col. O’Meara is the least I can do to say thanks.