The Warrior Games Torch Run on May 7 is all about showing gratitude.
“We just want all the soldiers in the Warrior Transition Battalion to know that people here appreciate what they’ve done for us,” Columbus businessman Bruce Kemp said.
Kemp is associated with the Community of Heroes, a local nonprofit organization that supports the military, especially the Warrior Transition Battalion (Wounded Warriors) at Fort Benning.
Four soldiers scheduled to compete in the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colo., will also be honored next week at the run. It’s an Olympic-style competition taking place May 10-14. The games are open to wounded, injured and ill service men and women with the following physical disabilities: amputations, spinal cord injuries, post-traumatic stress disorder, and traumatic brain injury.
There will be 200 competitors from all branches of the military competing in events such as track and field, swimming, archery and rifle shooting.
Uptown Columbus, the American Red Cross and the Community of Heroes is sponsoring the run.
It will begin at 8 a.m. with the lighting of a torch at the Columbus Government Center and finish at the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center at Patriot Park.
Runners will go down Ninth Street, turn right on Broadway, turn around on 12th Street, go down Broadway to Golden Park, pass in front of the Columbus Civic Center, go down Victory Drive until reaching Fort Benning Road, which leads to the museum.
It’s 7.8 miles, according to the Warrior Transition Battalion. It’s a run/walk event.
“We’ll go through the Historic District and South Commons. It will be a lot of fun,” Kemp said. “We want anybody who wants to show their support to run alongside wounded warriors.”
He said the four warriors going to Colorado likely will not run since they will be traveling and competing soon after the run but are expected to meet the group at the museum. Those four soldiers are Spc. Christopher Strickland, Sgt. Matthew Harvey, Pfc. Robert Nuss and Staff Sgt. Ruben Rodriguez.
“I would like to have the businesses along the route have their employees stand outside to cheer and wave,” Kemp said. “This has always been a patriotic community and I can’t think of a better way to support our troops.”