Run to home base in the AOR
By Maj. Matthew T. Mutti, Wing Executive Officer, 104th Fighter Wing
/ Published June 03, 2012
Barnes Air National Guard Base, 104th Fighter Wing - Westfield, Mass -- When you are a die-hard fan, there is little that can stand in the way of showing support for your team, even 5,800 miles, and 4 time zones; that was made abundantly clear by Red Sox fans who deployed to the Middle East with the 104th Fighter Wing.
On May 20th, members of the deployed aviation package, stationed at an undisclosed location in the Middle East, participated in a simultaneous 'Run for Home Base', along side the rest of Red Sox Nation...the only difference was the 131 Air Expeditionary Squadron runners didn't enjoy the cool spring Boston air, they battled 90 degree temperatures at 4:30 in the morning as they ran around their military base, finishing on the home plate of a dust covered softball field.
The differences aside, the members from the Massachusetts Air National Guard understood and appreciated the significance of this event, and wanted to show their support for the cause.
In total 83 runners participated in the The 5.6 mile run, with the fastest time being set at 40 minutes and 5 seconds.
"We have run the race for a number of years," said Tech. Sgt. Mike Stula. "It would be a shame if we couldn't participate in our own way out here. This event is a big morale boost, it reminds us that distance is relative and we can still be part of activities back home."
"We were so pleased to have (the Barnes members) join us in this special event," said Ms. Catherine Moore, from the Red Sox Foundation. "We shared the shadow run with our supporters through facebook, twitter, and a special announcement at the race. "
The event was coordinated by Chief Master Sgt. Al Reale, a three- time runner of the event in Boston. "The race went extremely well," said Reale. "We can't wait to do it at Fenway in 2013."