Sunday, September 26, 2010

Strength Behind the Uniform Walk/Run

Sunday morning hundreds of Londoners turned out to participate in the Strength Behind the Uniform charity walk/run honouring the Canadian military and giving support to their families. The 5km/8km walk/run was hosted by the London Military Family Resource Centre (LMFRC) with the aim of raising community awareness of the number of military families living in London and to gather funds to support local LMFRC programs and services.

Yellow ribbons marked the route through Springbank Park but one could just as easily have followed the yellow T-shirts worn by many of the participants. The yellow ribbon is the support-our-troops symbol adorning the backs of many Canadians cars

This is the second year the LMFRC has held Strength Behind the Uniform and this year's event proved to be even bigger and better than the first.

A ceremonial start was provided by the London Police Pipe and Drum band. Earlier, one member of the band was spotted warming up, marching and playing his bagpipe in a distant parking lot at the large park.

Shannon Kisslinger, Chair of the LMFRC board of directors, told The Londoner, a weekly tab carried by The London Free Press, "This event is important to promote awareness of the military families in the London region. There is a particular focus this year on the families who are combating stress while their loved ones are deployed. Even joyful times, from weddings and baptisms to graduations and birthdays, can be stressful both for the soldier who is unable to be there and the family who feel their loved one's absence even more acutely on those special occasions."

Kisslinger continued, "Aside from deployments, family separation is common for some military families as Canadian Forces personnel are required to be away for overseas and domestic operations and for training. The military lifestyle is certainly unique and we work to enhance the quality of life for all military families living in our catchment area, across Southwestern Ontario."

While participants had the choice of  either a 5 km or 8 km route, there was an third option taken by some, especially those with young children on the course. Do a little walking or running and then take the kids to the reptile tent or allow the kids have their faces painted or involve them in some of the family games.

For more photos, please click here. This was done for you, Matt.


Randy said...

What a great event. Wonderful photos.

Matt Lunt said...

Would love to see more photos from today if you have any!