By Max Smith | WTOP | WTOP.com | July 2, 2011
WASHINGTON – The July Fourth weekend is about celebrating our country, and hundreds spent Saturday morning celebrating our troops, raising money for wounded warriors.
More than 600 runners registered for the second annual Semper Fi 5K in Anacostia Park.
Some runners were out to prove they could do it – a few with prosthetic legs, one grandmother who was stuck in a wheelchair 15 years ago, and another who recovered from a more recent stroke. Others just wanted to offer their support.
Minh-Tu Nguyen ran with a friend who was marking her first full day off active duty.
“We’re both former Marines, and this is a great way to start Fourth of July weekend, and it’s for a great cause,” says Nguyen.
The nearly $25,000 raised goes to the Semper Fi Fund a charity helping wounded Marines and Sailors, along with other troops injured while supporting them.
“It helps them with prostheses, it helps them modify their homes and vehicles – all those extra things that you think should be taken care of, the Semper Fi Fund is doing it,” says race organizer Zach Burstein .
“You see all the faces of folks who’ve come back, and you know that there’s hundreds and thousands who’ve gone through Walter Reed and Bethesda [Naval Hospital], they need our help,” he adds. “The money in the Semper Fi Fund, it goes towards getting them back on their feet, basically integrating themselves back into society.”
This was the second annual race, and Burstein plans to keep it going.
“As long as we have folks overseas, and as long as we have people back here who are wounded, who need our help, we’re going to keep doing this,” he says.