Story by JFC Public Affairs
NAPLES, Italy - To honor the seven fallen Sailors of the USS Fitzgerald, the U.S. Navy element at Allied Joint Force Command Naples hosted a 7K run on July 14, running 1K for each life lost.
More than 100 runners participated in the run including four Midshipmen from the U.S. Naval Academy visiting JFC Naples.
During the run, seven members from various NATO nations, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain and the United States carried the crest of the USS Fitzgerald, passing it off at every kilometer.
"I was honored to be asked to carry the crest,” said Royal Air Force Wing Commander James Lafferty, Joint Operations Center deputy assistant. "I had previously done a four year exchange with the U.S. Navy and I was upset when I heard what had happened. This run was a great initiative and it was great to have other nations supporting the event as well.”
The run also honored the memory of other service members who recently lost their lives in uniform including three U.S. Army Soldiers, a French Soldier, a German Soldier, 15 U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy Sailor.
"As a military, we are prepared for loss but it is always difficult to accept when it happens,” said U.S. Navy Captain Rick Haupt, public affairs advisor and senior U.S. Navy representative. "Together, we can honor those who have given their lives to create a better world.”