Everyone has a hero. They are someone you admire and look up to, but most of all you appreciate them for something they have done.
There's one hero that every American shares their utmost respect for, the American soldier.
Men and women who serve our nation, providing us liberty, freedom, and safety often don't come home, laying down life for country. It's the ultimate sacrifice and with that fact in his heart, Archie Sharp founded Iron Soldiers.
Sunday, June 30, 2013 the Run for Texas Silent Heroes began in Childress, Texas. The Iron Soldiers will run through several Texas towns, ending up in Austin on July 4, 2013.
"We will be having a battlefield cross ceremony in every town or city along the way that's allowed us," said Sharp "We want to show honor and respect to the families and to the soldiers that have fallen in the Middle East."
Participants will travel a total of 436 miles. One mile for every Texas soldier that's been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The baton they carry holds the names of those soldiers.
One of those names is very dear to Gold Star mother, Hope Billings. Her son, Robert Billings was killed in action October of last year.
Through the tears, she said this run reminds her that her son's memory will never be forgotten.
Billings said, "They honor not only us, but the heroes. We are very grateful."
As the ceremony and run began, one could not help but notice the support team that these people made up, but also a family. Even the town of Childress paused as the runners, boasting the American flag, ran to the Childress Memorial in honor.
"We are one big family and until you are involved in the military, you really don't understand," said Archie "These families, every day they hurt and our job is to make sure that they are remembered."
Runner, Chase Sharp said that having his dad serve in the military has helped him understand the cost of freedom.
"It means a lot to me that one person would give their life to give freedom to other people that they care about back home." said Chase.
The patriotism that the Iron Soldiers have is amazing and they share it with everyone they meet.
As Archie said, "Freedom is won through sweat, tears, and blood, but it is not free."
The runners also carried a baton in remembrance of the fire fighters lost in the West, Texas explosion.
If you feel led to donate or want to learn more about Iron Soldiers you can visit http://www.ironsoldiers.org/#, but in the mean time be sure to thank a soldier today and their family today.