this evening, a run was held to remember JT Tumilson, a Navy Seal who was one of the 38 men killed on Saturday, August 6th in the Chinook helicopter in the eastern mountains of Afghanistan. At 8:30pm, Mike Rouse (a dear friend of mine), his wife Kimmie, and hundreds of others met at Mission Bay to run whatever distance they chose, in honor of JT and his service for our country. Mike and Kim were close friends of JT's, having known him for some time. JT was a regular in the running and tri community out there and if anyone knows the Rouses, you know he was in good company:)
i met JT two years ago, at Shakespeare's Pub. I think it was a Tuesday. Rousey and a gang of maybe 10 people met there every week to reminisce, laugh, talk triathlon, running, you name it. Rousey pulled Mary, Joe and I along and boy, did we have fun. To say JT lit up the room would be an understatement. His kindness, his laughter and his genuine desire to be present with everyone around him was enough to light up the whole of San Diego. I mean that truly. He was awesome.
So tonight after work, I threw on my running shoes for a lap around the river. In those 30 minutes, i thought about how briefly I knew this man, how much I grieve his passing. How very brave and determined he was - a soldier who fought to keep our country free, who's greatest sacrifice came out of a great desire to serve his country.
And I am so very grateful to him.
My heart goes out to his family, his friends, his comrades and the families of the fallen. All of the fallen, who have fought so courageously for my freedom.
And to the friends - or perfect strangers - who showed up tonight in Mission Bay, San Diego to run in honor and respect for a great man that was lost on the battlefield. May his life never be forgotten.
rest in peace JT.