Tiger Brigade troops run for the Cure

Photos and story by Spc. Amy L. Barber
256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team public affairs
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq — Twenty-eight years after Nancy G. Brinker founded an extraordinary movement against breast cancer to fulfill a promise to her sister, Susan G. Komen, Soldiers with the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) supported the cause by participating in the annual Race for the Cure May 15, thousands of miles from home, at Camp Liberty, Iraq.

Louisiana National Guard troops with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 256th IBCT and the 199th Garrison Command, along with about 1,600 other entrants at Victory Base Complex took part in one of the world’s largest fundraising events dedicated toward finding a cure for cancer.

Two affiliate Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure events occurred the same weekend back in Louisiana. One race took place in the Tiger Brigade’s hometown, Lafayette, La., while the other was held in Baton Rouge, La., hosted another; more than 10,000 participants ran in the events.

“It’s a great cause and we just wanted to come here and support it,” said Maj. Mark W. McCoy, a logistics officer with the 199th and a Pineville, La., native. “We just wanted to do our part.”

Spc. Becky L. Willis, a unit armorer with HHC, 256th IBCT and a St. Martinville, La., native, said she understands the premise behind the race and its importance regarding breast cancer.

“I have known many people with cancer,” she said. “Those persons eventually passed away and were no longer a part of my life. I wanted to run to give my utmost support to the cause and give remembrance to those I knew who are now gone due to cancer.”

Sgt. Shelley L. Landry, the executive administrative noncommissioned officer with the 199th and a Lafayette La., native, said as long as she is able, this event is one she will always support.

"I never pass up an opportunity to participate in the Susan G. Komen race no matter where I am on this earth, because it is such a great cause,” she said. “I have had several Family members and friends affected by breast cancer, some have lived to tell their story and some did not. It is a cause that is near and dear to my heart and it was very heart-warming to see so many people show up for this race."

According to, Deployed Soldiers who participated in the race at VBC raised more than $4,000 in donations, said Staff Sgt. Shari M. Camper, a data systems integrator with the 16th Engineer Brigade and a Columbus, Ohio, native.

Camper indicated that there were so many participants that the start of the race was delayed by 30 minutes to accommodate the estimated 1,400 race enthusiasts. A grand total of more than 1,600 troops raced, but registration halted as supplies, such as pink breast cancer bibs, were no longer available.

Donations to the foundation can be made at www.komencolumbus.org/komen-race-for-the-cure/donate/grassroots.

 

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Sgt. Shelley L. Landry, the executive administrative noncommissioned officer with the 199th Garrison Command, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and a Lafayette La., native, shows her support for breast cancer research May 15 by running in the 5-kilometer Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure around Z Lake at Camp Liberty, Iraq. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Amy L. Barber)

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More than 20 Soldiers with the 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) arrive May 15, to support the cause in finding a cure for breast cancer by running the 5-kilometer Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure around Z Lake at Camp Liberty, Iraq. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Amy L. Barber)

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Spc. Becky L. Willis, a unit armorer with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 256th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 13th Sustainment Command Expeditionary) and a St. Martinville, La., native, shows her support for finding a cure for breast cancer May 15 by running in the 5-kilometer Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure around Z Lake at Camp Liberty, Iraq. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Amy L. Barber)