Running for Fallen Heroes

As a master sergeant in the Air Force, Randy Senkle is in decent shape, but the prospect of running 70 miles over a four-day weekend was a bit daunting.

Randy Senkle and colleagues support their heroes.

That’s what he signed up for last September when he joined the New Jersey Run for the Fallen, which honors every New Jersey service member who has died in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, Operation New Dawn and other conflicts. Senkle’s 25-person team stopped at the Hero Markers posted at each mile and presented a flag and personalized biographical card to waiting family members, friends and comrades. Participating teams covered a total of more than 190 miles through New Jersey.

Senkle is studying for his MBA in Organizational Leadership from Wilmington University, taking classes online and at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, the U.S. military facility near Trenton, N. J. He says he chose WilmU partially because of the generous military discount, and because he could take classes
on the base where he works.

Although the Run for the Fallen was challenging, he found it inspiring. “When you reach a mile marker, sometimes you think about taking a break and jumping in the van,” he says. “But the families are there waiting for you – they’re looking for you. And sometimes [the hero’s] son or a buddy would come out and join us in the run. So that inspires you, and you keep running.”

Senkle organized the team from  McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, which included Air Force, Army and Coast Guard personnel. He says he’s looking forward to participating again this September. WU