TEMPE, AZ - There was a show of unity for military veterans at Pat’s Run in Tempe on Saturday.
Approximately 34,000 people showed up to honor the legacy of Pat Tillman.
Tillman was an Arizona State University alumnus who left the Arizona Cardinals and a promising NFL career to become an Army Ranger. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2004.
It was clear this year’s run took on more significance.
Runner Nick Countouriotis wore body armor.
It’s an extra 35 pounds he has carried many times before. It became his second skin through three deployments to Iraq.
He said his team chief was killed five years ago in April.
Many runners were military members, active duty and retired, but thousands more were not and that meant a lot to our troops.
“I'm ex-military so when you see people supportive after a tragic event it really hits home that people do care and they do understand,” Quentin Irion said.
Each step strengthened their resolve.
“This is sharing a message that all people are willing to come out together for a good cause, to represent America,” Countouriotis said.
On his jacket Countouriotis also carried tourniquets and dressings, just like he did in Iraq.
As always, prepared for anything and everything.
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