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Written By: Rachel Teter
MetroStar Systems, Inc. (MetroStar) proudly supports the nonprofit, wear blue: run to remember. They are a running community that honors the service and sacrifice of the American military.
Through wear blue, both military and civilian communities can help "build a living tribute to the fallen, the fighting, and the families of the US military."
In 2019, the MetroStar CARES program partnered with wear blue to donate four rental vehicles that helped transport Gold Star family members to all events during the Marine Corps Marathon weekend in Washington, DC. These events included awards benefits, the Gold Star Race Program (GSRP) dinner, the shakeout run, and a trip to the Arlington National Cemetery for wreath-laying. MetroStar believes every Gold Star athlete should focus solely on their race, so providing transportation was a key focus.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wear blue faced multiple race cancelations including the Marine Corps Marathon. This year's selected GSRP athletes will have a guaranteed spot in the 2021 cohort but one runner has chosen to run the race virtually in their hometown.
Despite the lack of an in-person event, wear blue is thrilled to support one of the 2020 athletes, Jessica Roberts. She is a Gold Star spouse of SSG Yance Tell Gray (KIA 9/10/07). Roberts has opted to run the 26.2 miles in a virtual race setting.
Robert’s first marathon was her way of providing training support to her now late husband while he was in Ranger school.
“There have been times I thought, ‘I can’t, I’m a mom, I have too much on my plate. Why am I doing this?’ And then Tell’s encouragement from my first marathon (he even framed a finisher photo of me) pushes me to keep going,” Roberts said. “All of these years I haven’t been able to commit to something that was too painful for me to consider, and now because of wear blue and the GSRP, I see it as a means to help in the healing of this forever grief.”
Rather than traveling to a race this October, wear blue will bring the race to Roberts by providing local and physically-distanced community cheerleaders, professional coaching, race day nutrition, a well-marked course, a memorial poster, and a handcrafted finisher's medal.
MetroStar’s 2020 contributions include providing running apparel, event supplies, and extended coaching for the originally selected athletes whose six-month race training season has now turned into 18.
"MetroStar's continued support proves their true partnership to wear blue: run to remember as we provide training and emotional support, during this challenging period of isolation, to the families of the fallen," said Jessica (Jess) Alley, Director of the Gold Star Race Program at wear blue and a Business Analyst at MetroStar.
Any unused funds from MetroStar will be applied to the 2021 Gold Star Race Program, which will host a double capacity cohort. This cohort will welcome 20 family members of fallen military members to our nation's capital.
Visit the wear blue website for more information and ways to donate.
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