Memorial Day Tribute

May 30, 2016 (Last Updated: April 22, 2020)

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A Tribute by a Local Vet Honoring Fallen Soldiers. 

I hope your Memorial Day weekend has been grand. We attended a retirement party for a friend that served 33 years in the Navy and spent time with my brother-in-law who ran 300 miles for Project America Run. Mike is an Army Veteran and started Project American Run several years ago honoring fallen soldiers. In 2010 he ran 4,424 miles from Astoria, OR to Rockland, ME placing a flag every mile for a fallen soldier. Each flag had a name, rank, age and home town of a soldier.  Mike would stop every mile, say the name, place the flag and salute the soldier.

In 2012 he ran another run totaling 2,146 miles…again planting a flag each mile. Every day he would run approximately  26 miles. At the end of his day a host family would pick him up, feed him and provide a bed for the night. The next morning they would deliver him back to his route and he would run another 26 miles. Here is a wonderful video from his second run from 2012.  It is six minutes depicting his run. It brings tears to my eyes every single time I watch it.

A wooden map on a stand.

This week, Mike stayed local and planned to run 300 miles over the Memorial weekend. He started on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 and was to run 50 miles each day. This time Mike was to run a loop around a city park with a distance of one mile…that’s 300 laps!  Several local people and students joined him on his run.  Each mile Mike stopped and planted a flag.  This time the flags were placed on a sign.


Mike is an ultra marathoner. He has done several 100 milers (running 100 miles in less than 24 hours), but this run of 50 miles/day for several days has done it’s toll. Mike has suffered many sore muscles and swollen joints. At the end of each day, my sister drove him home stopping at the lake for an “ice bath”. The water is chilly enough to qualify as an ice bath. And after a long run, Mike craves salty chips, chocolate milk and a hearty meal with lots of meat!


Mike is finishing the 300 miles today, Monday, May 30, 2016.  All 300 flags will be placed by 10:00 in the morning. On the past two Project America  Runs, Mike ran every single mile. He had many miles that he ran solo and in some areas he had runners accompany him.  Mike was unable to run all 300 miles this time. His ankle became so swollen that he has only been able to walk the last two days.  Luckily, many community members showed and ran the miles for Mike!  This run hasn’t been about doing the miles for Mike, but about honoring soldiers that have died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I hope you spend part of today thanking and remembering those who have served our country. Thanks, Mike!

Project America Run


  • Reply
    karrie @ Tasty Ever After
    June 1, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Wow Mike!!! What a fantastic person he is and his Project American Run is so inspiring. Love it! Hope you and your family had a wonderful Memorial Day ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    May 31, 2016 at 8:55 am

    Very inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Reply
    allie @ Through Her Looking Glass
    May 31, 2016 at 6:00 am

    P.S. I did not mean to exclude our women in the military either. They are also someone’s daughter, sister and mommy…

  • Reply
    allie @ Through Her Looking Glass
    May 31, 2016 at 5:58 am

    This is beautiful Kathy, I loved reading about your brother-in-law and the difference he is making. I teared up to read he could not run the last few days but that others showed up and ran for him. That is such a beautiful tribute to the fallen soldiers and to Mike. I can’t believe how many miles he has run. My dad served in the Navy on a ship in the Bay of Pigs during those uncertain times in the 60’s’s. Each soldier is someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s daddy. They are real people with real faces and families. I’m so glad Mike honored each person.

  • Reply
    Laura ~ Raise Your Garden
    May 31, 2016 at 3:28 am

    What an incredible story. Lots of military in our family and feel so blessed by all those who serve! 50 miles of running a day? Unreal. No wonder he’s got that bag of chips in his hand.

  • Reply
    Fran @ G'day Souffle'
    May 31, 2016 at 12:20 am

    What an amazing feat and watching the video also brought tears to my eyes.

  • Reply
    May 30, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    What a great and inspiring story at the perfect time! God bless our soldiers and their families!

  • Reply
    May 30, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Thank you for sharing this awesome and inspiring story, Kathy… and great pics! God bless you, Mike and family!

  • Reply
    Cheyanne @ No Spoon Necessary
    May 30, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Wow, Mike sounds like an amazing individual! His project America run is beyond inspiring! My father served in the navy, where he was exposed to mesothelioma and subsequently passed away a few years ago. My heart certainly goes out to all the fallen soldiers and their families. I agree with David. Thank you for the reminder of why we celebrate this day.. it’s not just a day to grill. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hope you have a beautiful Memorial day, friend. Cheers!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    May 30, 2016 at 5:52 am

    Wow, this is incredibly moving, Kathy! Mike is a real trooper, and it’s so incredible that he uses something he’s good at (running) to honor our troops. I’d give him a huge high-five if I saw him running by! (It looks like he ran through our area back in 2010…but of course I didn’t know that at the time.) I hope you, Mike and the rest of the family have an awesome Memorial Day. Thank you for the reminder of why we are celebrating this great day. ๐Ÿ™‚

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