This was the 4th year for the Hendersonville Running Club to conduct the Run for the Fallen of Sumner County, TN. We had a list of 10 names that were either from Sumner County, or had connections with Sumner County, or friends of our fellow runners. We ran a 6.8 mile course along the new greenway in Hendersonville. The weather was perfect. We were honored, this year, to have Col. Many-Bear Grinder (retired), who is the Commissioner of Tennessee Veterans Affairs, and also mother-in-law of CW02 (Army) Billie Jean Grinder (KIA Feb. 21, 2010). As she kneeled in front of the Grinder marker, at the 5 mile mark, we were reminded, not only of their sacrifice, but family members continue to deeply mourn their loss.
Another story that I would like to share with others, centers around one our HRC members:
An Amazing Co-incidence or Spiritual Telepathy
One of the original organizers of Hendersonville Running Club’s Run For The Fallen program, was Marine Master Sgt. Kenneth (Randy) Smith (retired). He has been an avid runner, including qualifying, and running in the Boston Marathon, a couple of years ago. All of the names for which HRC runs, have connections to Sumner County, but he has always added two close friends that served with him and were killed in action. Recently, his life was changed instantly, and his devotion to the fallen was intensified. While searching for a bargain on a bed frame, he happened into a local Goodwill Store, thinking that may be a good place to find one. He was unsuccessful, but as he was leaving the front of the store, he paused at a table of books. We know Randy as an energetic, athletic, outdoors Marine type of man, with bed frame on his mind. For some unknown reason, he paused, and picked up a book. Because it was on end, he turned to the front of the book, and it read, “A Table in His Presence” by Chaplain Lt. Carey H. Cash, not exactly a title that he would be interested in, but it did have a picture of some Marines on the cover, so he investigated a little farther. He looked a little closer and seemed to recognize one of the faces on the cover and flipped through the book, back to the front, and found some pictures and an article about his fallen best friend, Gy Sgt. Jeffrey Bohr. Visibly shaken, he marveled at the chance occurrence. He eagerly scanned the article and description of Gy Sgt Bohr’s heroics and eventual death. He bought all seven copies of the book. That evening he read the book, learning more about his best friend that he knew while serving at 29 Palms years earlier.
He called me several days later, and said that his life has been changed by a book he found. Run for the Fallen had taken on a much deeper meaning. He had previously participated to honor his friends, but now, it’s his duty, a debt to fulfill, a much more passionate cause; a hole.