Air Force ROTC Cadets Run 29 Miles in Honor of POW/MIAs

By Savanah Sellars 

The University of Kentucky Air Force ROTC Detachment 290 cadets commemorated POW/MIAs this past weekend with an annual 29-mile run from Lexington to Frankfort, Kentucky.

More than 100 AFROTC cadets and faculty from UK and the University of Louisville participated in the run along Old Frankfort Pike, including 18 cadets who ran the entire 29 miles. The Kentucky State Police, the Air Force Association, Boy Scouts of America Troop 457, Turning Point Church, Civil Air Patrol, Scott County JROTC, and the Navy Sea Cadets supported the runners along the route.

“We don't do this run for personal glorification, but in honor and remembrance of prisoners of war and of our comrades missing in action,” said Cadet Colonel Audrey Cochran, Cadet Wing Commander and UK senior. “The sacrifice we made as cadets by running those 29 painful miles will never parallel the sacrifice made by service members who cannot be here to run with us, but we use this opportunity to make sure POW/MIAs are never forgotten.”

The ran began at Barker Hall on UK's campus at 6 a.m. and concluded at noon with a ceremony at the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Frankfort. The event included the Rolling Thunder motorcycle group accompanying the runners the last four miles, a presentation from Quilts of Valor ® Foundation and the presentation of the colors by the Detachment 290 Honor Guard.

“Finishing the POW/MIA run was one of the hardest and most painful things that I have done, but it was also one of the proudest moments of my life,” said Cadet Brianna Arnold, a junior at UK. “I felt so proud to be representing the U.S. Air Force as we honored these soldiers by going through a little bit of pain, for all of the pain that they have been through. I would not have finished [the full 29 miles] if I had not kept my eyes on the American and POW flags that the cadets in front of us were carrying.”

In addition to the annual tradition of running 29 miles to honor the POWs and MIAs, this year, the cadets raised more than $1,400 for the Wounded Warrior Project.

For more information on Air Force ROTC, Detachment 290 at the University of Kentucky please visit http://afrotc.as.uky.edu

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