by Airman 1st Class Amelia Leonard
349th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
5/23/2013 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Hundreds
of Airmen and their families banded together to participate in the
third annual Gold Star Family Ruck March in honor of fallen service
members and their families here May 18.
The purpose of the event was to bring awareness to the base and its
community about Gold Star Moms and their families. Although fallen
service members are the ones who ultimately pay the price with their
lives for the nation, their families are left behind with holes in their
The Gold Star Moms program brings families together to gain strength from one another in a time when they are suffering most.
"This event is for a great cause," said Senior Airman John Krueger, 22nd
Airlift Squadron. "I'll definitely be back out here next year."
"I wanted to honor all the families who have lost a loved one," said
Staff Sgt. Steven Kreidler, 60th Medical Operations Squadron. "It's a
good way to keep them alive. It felt good."
The participants walked or ran the 10K course that winded from Bldg. 924
to 381 . There were three different divisions to participate in:
military heavy, which consisted of the Airman Battle Uniform and a
30-pound backpack; military light, which included members in uniform
without the backpack; and a civilian division. Participants could walk,
run or even crawl during the event. Some participants competed alone,
while others joined forces and competed in a four-man team.
Senior Airman Tyler Saulsgiver, 60th Civil Engineer Squadron, participated in one of the four-man teams.
"It was tough," he said. "We trained every Friday for two months. It was an experience for sure."
Maj. Daniel Craig, 60th CES, ran alongside his wife, a civilian, and their baby in a jogging stroller.
"This was my wife's first 10K and what better way to do it than for the Gold Star Moms," he said.
Each participant was fitted with a laminated sheet of paper that
included a picture of a fallen service member, their age, hometown and
unit. The paper served as a reminder of all we've lost in battle and to
remember them and their families.