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WDAY: The News Leader

Published June 22, 2013, 09:04 PM

Devils Lake community is running to remember 14 North Dakota soldiers who died

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- The Devils Lake community is banding together to remember the 14 North Dakota soldiers who died while serving in the War on Terrorism, by raising money through a 14-k run/walk -- one kilometer for each of the soldiers.

By: WDAY, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- The Devils Lake community is banding together to remember the 14 North Dakota soldiers who died while serving in the War on Terrorism, by raising money through a 14-k run/walk -- one kilometer for each of the soldiers.

It's a 14K walk this year. One for each North Dakota National Guard soldier killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jeff Barta- Walking for Fallen Soldiers: "They were taken in the prime of their life and it's an honor to be able to honor them."

Along the way, walkers are greeted with cheers from all ages.

Jeff Wollschlaeger- Supporter: "We're ringing the cowbell at about a halfway point. Just to give the walkers and runners a little motivation."

And to go with the cheers, some much needed drinks are tossed out.

Bryce Crosby- Supporter: "We decided we're going to help out by providing water and towels for the participants that are coming through on the race."

The outpouring of support is appreciated.

Barta: "That's a big morale booster right there. you see the little kids out there and they're excited about you coming across."

14 kilometers later and the walk is finished here at Camp Grafton. Each participant is greeted with a wave of support and they all get one of these dog tags to remember the day by.

As the walk winds down, the reason behind it remains.

Barta: "It's like the back of our shirts say, never forget our fallen heroes."

What did it feel like when you were walking or running by and you would see each picture?

Barta: "That's tough to get through there. To be able to touch each one of those soldiers. I know about half of them personally. So you would see that picture. First time I've ever done this, even choking me up now."

All proceeds from the event go to the state's Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, which helps families who've lost a military member.

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