The Red, White, and Blue Organization organized “The Old Glory Relay” which reaches out to veterans through physical activity has runners carry an American flag across the country from coast to coast.
Organization executive director, J.J. Pinter says members run with an American flag across the country from coast to coast. “We started on September 11th and we end on Veterans Day. So this year, 62 days going a little over 4,300 miles. It’s all moved by people-power. We try to piece together the country in a way that links up our chapters with some of our partners and we try to make it a really special day and event,” Pinter says,
Pinter served 10 years in the U.S. Army. The relay made its way into Iowa this morning and will work its way toward Des Moines by tomorrow night and into Wednesday morning. Daily relay teams go about 60 miles and are led by a captain with anywhere from 10 to 40 or 50 people carrying the flag.
“What’s really special is the amount of people involved on the route. It’s everything from police departments, fire departments, schools, town halls, V-F-W’s and American Legions,” Pinter says. “And the way the community comes out and gets involved as the flag is traveling through the areas is what makes this relay really special.” The United States flag making the cross country journey was made by a veteran-owned company from recycled materials and already has an extensive travel history.
“We do something called a preamble every year. Where we take the flag and we send it to our chapters and locations that are not near the course — so if you’re not near the route for the year you might not get a chance to participate,” according to Pinter. “This flag has been overseas, it’s been flown in the back of military aircraft, it’s been all over the place. And so the flag already has a rich history before it even gets to the beginning of the relay.”
The Old Glory Relay can be tracked online via GPS at teamrwb.org. The relay, which began in Boston, is scheduled to end in San Diego on Veterans Day.
(By Mark Freie, KLMJ, Hampton)