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Aaron Bartal running the Miles For Mankind 5kRunning To Honor, Never Forgotten

Volume 6 Issue 1 Spring-Summer 2019
By Aaron Bartal

One of my friends is always posting on Facebook motivational sayings along the lines of “Be kind... always... because everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about.” This type of stuff really catches my attention. While I’ve lost many soldiers... I don’t really know what it is like to be the family of these Fallen Soldiers. I do know I always want my Fallen Soldier families to feel like I’m personally giving everything that I can to keep their loved ones memory alive.

Although I self-fund 99% of everything related to ‘Running To Honor’ (yeah, I know, I need a sponsor), this year I did something different. I took my tax refund and made a bulk purchase of custom “Never Forgotten” flags from FlagandBanner.com. I could have spent my tax refund on many things, but I can say with confidence, no matter what I could have purchased for myself...it would not have given me the happiness and satisfaction that these flags have given me.

Aaron Bartal running to honor

When I started running, it was to honor nine soldiers that I served with that died in Iraq. That number has now grown to 32. I decided to give one of these flags to each one of my Fallen Soldier families. But I didn't just want to hand them a flag. I wanted them to know that each flag is unique and special to honor their loved one. So, this year, as I met each one of the families, I sought out a race near their hometown. I ran the race carrying one of these flags that reads "Never Forgotten" on one side and "Running to Honor" on the other side and then presented the flag to the family at the finish line with a customized message hand written on the flag. I can only hope this symbol of appreciation assures these families that their loved one will never be forgotten. "Everyone is fighting a battle that you know nothing about." #FreedomIsNeverFree #NeverForgotten #RunningToHonor Brave flag

Aaron Bartal on Fox 2 Detroit News

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