For Gene Lively, there is never enough that can be done to support U.S. military personnel and veterans.
That is why his Columbus business Shooters Valhalla on First Avenue is a sponsor of the Mogadishu Mile Memorial 5K being held Saturday at 6 p.m.
“We assist soldiers and their families,” said Lively of the national nonprofit organization H.O.O.A.H. (Helping Out Our American Heroes) to which the event’s funds will be donated.
Lively is the chapter president of the 2nd H.O.O.A.H. of Georgia.
“Those participating in the run will honor our dedicated soldiers and commemorate those who died during the Mogadishu Mile,” he said, adding that funds raised will be used locally.
The Mogadishu Mile refers to a mile-long run by members of the 3rd Ranger Battalion from a helicopter crash site to the Pakastani Stadium in Mogadishu, Somalia, during the Battle of Mogadishu on Oct. 3-4, 1993.
The scene was depicted in the movie “Black Hawk Down.”
Lively said the Battle of Mogadishu was part of Operation Gothic Serpent, a battle fought between U.S. soldiers and Somali militiamen.
The mission was to capture two Somali warlords.
The battle cost 18 American lives and left more than 70 soldiers wounded.
Lively said some of those who participated in that battle will be on hand for the run.
“It is a good way to remember those who fought in that battle and to help soldiers today,” Lively said.
The run will begin at 11th Street and Broadway and will include the Chattahoochee RiverWalk.
Lively said participants will get a T-shirt and there will be lots of prizes handed out.
“We have got a lot of different categories,” he said.
He expects about 1,500 to participate and even more to watch.
“We will have a celebration at the end,” he said.
If you go
What: Mogadishu Mile Memorial 5K
Where: Run begins at 11th Street and Broadway in downtown Columbus.
When: Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. at Big Dog Running Company on Broadway. The run starts at 6 p.m.
Cost: The price to run is $25
Registration: To register online go to uptowncolumbusga.com. Online registration ends Sept. 29 at 5 p.m.