On Nov. 10, 2005, Staff Sgt. Michael C. Parrott, a former CSU Facilities Management employee, lost his life after injuries sustained when his unit was hit with small arms fire in Khalidiyah, Iraq.
Exactly five years later, 200 veterans, community members, friends and family honored his life at the third annual Veterans 5k Run.
This year’s Adult Learner and Veteran Services 5k was held in honor of Parrott, but also serves as a fundraiser for the disabled veterans scholarship.
“We target the whole CSU and Fort Collins community,” said Jenny Pickett, Air Force veteran and ALVS assistant director. “Registered runners include ROTC, former military, family members, CSU students and people that knew Michael.”
“I think that it’s fitting that we honor Michael during this 5k because he was such an avid runner,” said Will Clark, Air Force veteran and race director. “Its not about competition, it is about participation and support within the community.”
Proceeds from the race will go toward the scholarship fund for disabled veterans, which provides funding for veterans who are at least 60 percent disabled, according to Clark.
“The Veterans 5K gives a chance to get out and run, volunteer, and connect with people across the community,” Clark said. “I want the response of people to grow … that people don’t just wanna run, but want to support veterans and the ALVS.”
Sigma Alpha Sorority members Julia Cucarola, Mindy Waterman, Caroline Yang and Demi Guerin bundled up and ran Saturday morning in support of the ALVS. Reflecting on family and friends in the armed forces, Sigma Alpha runners were awarded second pace in the team division category.
“Running this 5K is a good way to give back to the ALVS community,” Cucarola, a Junior double major in animal sciences and microbiology, said. “We could just say thank you, but this is better.”