‘Salute to Veterans 5K’ about more than running

Purple Heart recipient makes memories with son during patriotic event

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By Jodi Mohrmann

With Jacksonville’s skyline as a backdrop and fall-like weather, service members, veterans and families hit the pavement on a Sunday morning to run for a cause. The “Salute to Veterans 5K” — to benefit The USS Adams Museum, K9s for Warriors and other veteran service organizations — was part of Jacksonville’s Week of Valor.

Wounded Warrior Project was contacted by race organizers 1st Place Sports and Team Red, White, and Blue, to see if its warriors and their family support members would participate in the November 6 race. A dozen answered the call, and Gary “Jay” White — a Purple Heart recipient with the U.S. Army — was one of them. But Jay not only signed up himself, he also registered his son.

“Everything I do with my son has significance since I missed so much of his life through five deployments and multiple training events,” said the 17-year Army veteran.

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