The Lancer Battalion is supporting this weekend’s California Run for the Fallen.
The 150-mile trek kicks off today at Laguna / Elk Grove. Included are dedicated team of runners – both retired and active duty personnel – from Travis Air Force Base.
Each mile, they’ll stop to dedicate each of the 711 fallen California service men and women who served in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. Among the fallen is Manteca’s Marine Cpl. Charles O. Palmer.
The run teams will place an American flag and personal biographical card for those fallen service members, concluding at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon.
On the second day, the route makes its way through Stockton, French Camp, Manteca and Tracy.
Karl Knutsen of the East Union High Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp and members of his Lancer Battalion are planning to salute the runners. They’ll gather at Airport Way near Louise Avenue, borrowing Old Glory from the “Flags Over Manteca” compliments of the Chamber of Commerce.
“Of the men and women who died (from the recent war), 155 came from our valley,” he said.
Knutsen is estimating the Run for the Fallen to pass through the area at about 1 p.m.
“If you’re not doing anything come out and join us,” he said, offering an invite to the community. “Our kids will be out there in uniform.”
Eight stops are planned in French Camp and Manteca, with “Run for the Fallen” markers situated at the following Airport Way locations.
• A bit north of East French Camp Road past the Stockton Municipal Airport.
• Near Fisk Road and just south of East French Camp Road.
• Between Coelho and Lovelace roads.
• Between Hastings Drive and Northgate Drive.
• Between Geneva Way and Crom Street (area of Manteca Park Golf Course).
• Between West Yosemite Avenue and Wawona Street (near Sierra High).
• Between West Atherton Drive and Peregrine Street (south of the Highway 120 Bypass).
• Between East Peach Road and Fig Road (rural Manteca).
• Between East Nile Road and Almondwood Road (rural Manteca).
Knutsen added that one of his color guards will meet with runners once they reach the Tracy Public Cemetery.
The “Run for Fallen” event began in 2008 during Flag Day with a dedicated team of runners going from Fort Irwin, CA, to Arlington National Cemetery.
For 10 weeks, they made the cross country journey, marking each mile with an American flag and a remembrance sign card for each fallen soldier, sailor, airman, and marine killed since 2001.
More information can be obtained by logging on to www.carunforthefallen.org.