Over the past three years, the Coast Guard Remember, which was formerly known as the Coast Guard Run to Remember, has grown exponentially from its roots. It began as one man raising money for our Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships to children of Coast Guard members who die in the line of duty, to a worldwide event that raised $35,000 this year, with thousands of people participating.
In 2011, a single Coast Guard officer, Lieutenant Brian Bruns, embarked on a journey to run the Keys 100, an ultramarathon in the Florida Keys, in honor of Coast Guard members who died in the line of duty since September 11, 2001. LT Bruns raised $3,000 for the Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund.
Led by Lieutenant Lucy Love and Petty Officer Sean Lawler, one year later, the race was transformed into a global event. Ninety individuals formed relay teams to tackle the Keys 100, a 100-mile ultra-marathon that begins in Key Largo ends in Key West. In 2012, the Keys 100 teams presented the Coast Guard Foundation with a donation for $10,100 for the Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund; this year their support has more than tripled, which is an amazing feat.
LT Lucy Love, Coast Guard Foundation Senior VP of Development Brad Sisley, and Chief Petty Officer Tracey Addicott on a Chief Petty Officer's Association dinner in Miami in 2012.
"We are not just honoring names on a plaque or pictures on a wall, we are honoring the families. We are honoring the men, women, and children who lost someone very close to them," Petty Officer Lawler said.
Audrey Gill, the daughter of AM1 Michael Gill, who was killed in an aviation crash during a search and recuse mission, participated in a Coast Guard Remember event in Jacksonville, Florida this year. Audrey is the recipient of a Fallen Heroes Scholarship, so her participation makes a meaningful connection to her father's legacy as a Coast Guard hero.
"These events allow Coast Guard personnel to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of their country," said Foundation President, Anne B. Brengle. "We are so grateful to the run's organizers and volunteers who have transformed this event into something truly special."