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CES Airmen run in remembrance of Pat Tillman

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Members of the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron here participated in a squadron-organized run to raise funds for the Pat Tillman Foundation here April 17. Airmen from the 30th CES ran a 4.2 mile course around Vandenberg in honor of the fallen servicemember Cpl. Pat Tillman (mileage was symbolic of Pat Tillman’s Arizona State University football jersey number – 42). (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Herman Ybarra)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Members of the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron here participated in a squadron-organized run to raise funds for the Pat Tillman Foundation here April 17. Airmen from the 30th CES ran a 4.2 mile course around Vandenberg in honor of the fallen servicemember Cpl. Pat Tillman (mileage was symbolic of Pat Tillman’s Arizona State University football jersey number – 42). (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Herman Ybarra)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Members of the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron here participated in a squadron-organized run to raise funds for the Pat Tillman Foundation here April 17. Airmen from the 30th CES ran a 4.2 mile course around Vandenberg in honor of the fallen servicemember Cpl. Pat Tillman (mileage was symbolic of Pat Tillman’s Arizona State University football jersey number – 42). (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Herman Ybarra)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Members of the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron here participated in a squadron-organized run to raise funds for the Pat Tillman Foundation here April 17. Airmen from the 30th CES ran a 4.2 mile course around Vandenberg in honor of the fallen servicemember Cpl. Pat Tillman (mileage was symbolic of Pat Tillman’s Arizona State University football jersey number – 42). (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Herman Ybarra)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Approximately 30 members of the 30th Civil Engineer Squadron here participated in a squadron-organized run to raise funds for the Pat Tillman Foundation here April 17.

The 30th CES mimicked the 6th Annual Pat's Run , a Pat Tillman Foundation fundraising event held at Arizona State University, to honor fallen servicemember Army Cpl. Pat Tillman, by running 4.2 miles at Vandenberg (42 was Pat Tillman's ASU football jersey number).

Pat Tillman was a former student-athlete of Arizona State University. He went on to play for the Arizona Cardinals before giving up his National Football League career to become an Army Ranger. He was subsequently killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan while a part of the 2nd Range Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

"We ran to honor Pat Tillman and those who have given their lives for our country," said Staff Sgt. Brian Young, a 30th CES water and fuel systems maintenance journeyman. "This cause (The Pat Tillman Foundation) raises money for the veterans and active duty for scholarships."

Following Corporal Tillman's death, his family and friends created the Pat Tillman Foundation in 2004. According to the Pat Tillman Foundation Web site, the foundation is a national leader in providing resources and educational support to veterans, active servicemembers and their dependents. The Tillman Military Scholars program aids all veterans and, specifically, the ever-growing population of veterans and dependents of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

"This is a great cause," said Sergeant Young. "Pat Tillman gave up his stardom to serve his country and he ended up giving up his life for it. I think it is only right to show some respect for those who have lost their lives while protecting our country."

Hoisting the waving American flag and 30th CES guidon, the Airmen ran the 4.2 mile course around base as a group, said Tech. Sgt. John Chacon, the 30th CES NCO in charge of water and fuel systems maintenance.

"We did not run this event as a race, we ran it as a team - leaving no Airman behind," said Sergeant Chacon. "We are a family and we do everything together."

One of the day's more memorable moments occurred at the end of the squadron run, said Tech. Sgt. Herman Ybarra, a 30th CES water and fuel systems maintenance supervisor.

"When I saw the team crossing the finish line, I felt a real sense of patriotism," Sergeant Ybarra said. "For me, it was an awesome sight. What these Airmen did on that Saturday morning was very special."

For more information about the Pat Tillman Foundation and Pat's Run, visit www.pattillmanfoundation.org.