Mary Carpenter, a race coordinator, said race proceeds will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that supports wounded soldiers and their families.
Spc. Jason Smith, a 2004 Ringgold High School graduate, joined the military four years ago. He became an infantryman of Company B, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. In July 2012 he stepped on a pressure plate IED while in Afghanistan, causing severe injuries. Both of Smith's hands were fractured and the incident resulted in the amputation of both legs below the knee.
Smith is the son of Larry Smith, a lieutenant with the Catoosa County Fire Department. Carpenter said Catoosa County commission chairman Keith Greene contacted her regarding the race after he heard about Smith's son. Greene is a retired U.S. Army officer and received a Purple Heart for wounds received while serving in Iraq in 2004.
“This is very dear to his heart,” Carpenter said of Greene. “He runs a race every year in Washington to support the Wounded Warrior Project, so when he got the news from Larry (Smith) he just naturally wanted to do anything he could to help the family.”
Smith is a patient at the Center for the Intrepid and San Antonio Military Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. He was presented with a Purple Heart medal a few weeks ago by Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Smith's father reported to Carpenter that his son was in “high spirits,” and “surprisingly positive through it all.” Smith is soon scheduled to receive prosthetic fittings for both legs.
Morning registration begins at 8 a.m. with a planned start time of 9:30 a.m. Carpenter said the fee is $25, and donations and event support are welcome.
“Even if you can't run or walk, you can come on out and just be a cheerleader,” Carpenter said.” After the run, they're having all the Veteran's Day ceremonies, so you can come and support that as well. It's just going to be one of those 'feel good days.'“
For race info, visit active.com or chattanoogatrackclub.com. For more info about WWP, visit woundedwarriorproject.org.