It was a chilly morning but the sun was out as about 100 runners left Legacy of the Plains Museum in Gering for the 11th annual Warrior Run.
The Warrior Run is sponsored by the Veterans and Military Family Emergency Relief Organization to assist veterans who may run into emergency situations.
“In the past few months we’ve had a lot of homeless veterans come to us,” said event organizer Dave Wolf. “We work with a federal agency to supply them with a hotel until they can get into a home. We’ve got about 10 or 12 homeless veterans off the street this year.”
The group also helps with rent, utilities, vehicle repairs and other needs for veterans. Wolf said there’s always more need than funding, so they must be stingy with the dollars they have to work with.
“We have an application process to make sure we’re helping out in legitimate emergency situations,” he said. “There’s always been a need, but as veterans become more aware of our services, they’re more willing to ask for help.”
Local attorney Tom Holyoke said he thinks he’s run in the past seven or eight Warrior Runs. “I run in several other races in the area, but this one is special because of the cause they’re supporting.”
Sandy Macke with Champion Realty started out as a runner. Later, her company became a sponsor of the Warrior Run and she volunteers at the table to register runners that show up the day of the event.
“I think it’s awesome to support the veterans for everything they’ve sacrificed for us,” Sandy said. “All the volunteer time I spend is well worth it because I’m giving back to honor them.”
And as the runners complete their 5K and 10K courses, Sandy is our in front of the museum to cheer them on.
Kelly Doyle of Scottsbluff is an Air Force veteran who’s also a runner in this year’s Warrior Run. About three years ago she met Chris Wolf with the TRIO/Veterans Upward Bound program at Western Nebraska Community College. And since then, she’s been involved with many of the veterans’ events the group sponsors.
“Events like this get me out to meet other veterans because I like to support everybody,” Kelly said. “I take a lot of pride in our military.”
For more information on the Veterans and Military Family Emergency Relief Organization, visit their website at wyobraskavetshelp.org.
Helping sponsor the Warrior Run are: C. W. Yount Foundation, Post 36 Family, Van Pelt Fencing, 21st Century Equipment, Angela Philbrick Insurance, B&C Steel, Regional West Medical Center, Silver Spur, Robinson Electric, Tom Holyoke, WNCC, Viaero, American Legion Unit 9 Auxiliary Hemingford, Anderson and Shaw Construction, Bellevue University, Budweiser, Champion Reality/Sandy Macke, Floyd’s Sales and Services, Kelley Bean, Print Broker, Reganis Auto Center, Simmons-Olson Law, Inland Truck Parts, Buyer’s Reality, Chaloupka, Holyoke, Snyder, Chaloupka, and Longoria.