Back to Spouses

wear blue: run to remember enters second year in DuPont

Running group links fallen with community

Kristy Graham, left, Erin O’Connor, and Lisa Hallett near the final stretches of the Run to Remember group’s weekly run. Photo by Ingrid Barrentine

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

When Lisa Hallett co-founded the wear blue: run to remember group nearly two years ago, she did so with a specific purpose.

She had recently lost her husband, Capt. John Hallett, when his Stryker was attacked with an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Forty-one service members didn't come home from John Hallett's year-long deployment.

"When we began we were meeting a specific need of a very specific community," Lisa Hallett said. "This is a military family that had faced great hardship and loss during a difficult deployment that was coming together, that wanted to live and wanted to support one another."

Running became the tool that linked the Joint Base Lewis-McChord and surrounding community together to recognize the fallen Soldiers. Wear blue serves as a living memorial to the service and sacrifice of the American military. The organization has three major goals: create a support network for military members and their families and the community that supports them; create a bridge between the military and civilian population; and create a living memorial.

Over the past two years wear blue has caught on, not just to the community, but across the nation. Wear blue currently has 1,000 members across the country. Every Saturday wear blue holds their weekly run at Powderworks Park in DuPont. Members run or walk a three-mile run lined with American flags. During the summer months nearly 200 runners are at the weekly gathering.

The group has applied for and is currently waiting for their non-profit designation and upon reciept will announce the new chapter roll out.

"Two years ago we had no idea what it would become," Hallett said. "By the hard work of passionate, committed volunteers, lots of prayers, it's really grown into something exciting."

To achieve the goals the group stands for they will have or participate in four major events this year: Wear Blue Runs for the Fallen (May 28), Seattle Rock ‘n Roll Marathon (June 23), Capt. John Hallett Memorial Ultra and the San Francisco Marathon (July 29) and Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. (Oct. 28).

Wear blue will partner with the non-profit group Runs for the Fallen for their May event. The group hopes to pair the event with a national launch.

"We'd like that to be the day that we open new chapters across the country wherever people are excited about wear blue," Hallett said. "It starts with a handful of runners coming together, putting on a blue shirt, taking a moment to pause and remember the services of the American military."

The plan for the Run for the Fallen event is to run the number of miles for the number of service members that have been killed in action in the Global War on Terrorism. To date the number is about 6,380. People across the country will pledge to run a certain number of miles in honor of the service members. Wear blue will host a community event beginning at 8 a.m. at Powderworks Park where the three-mile loop will be marked.

"We're asking people to choose a number that is meaningful to them and committing to really consciously run those number of miles in honor of the service members who didn't return from their service to our country," Hallett said.

Hallett will run 41 miles to honor the 41 killed during her husband's deployment. Tracey Boyle will run 38 miles in honor of the 38 months her husband was deployed. A friend of Hallett's will run nine miles for the nine comrades lost in a deployment. Race day has an added significance in that it is Memorial Day.

"The day that our nation has set aside to remember the military and the sacrifices they make, we're going to have people across the country that are living and serving as the memorial for these men and women," Hallett said. "It's going to be a really powerful day."

Wear blue welcomes all volunteers and members. The first step is to put on a blue shirt. The group's website ( has a registration tab that enables them to communicate with members. The website also includes training schedules and event information.

"We're all just regular people. We're not athletes for a living," Hallett said. "But we belong to a community that's bigger than ourselves, and I think that's inspiring for a lot of our athletes."

comments powered by Disqus