Running for a bigger cause
May 28, 2011 at 12:28 a.m.
Updated May 30, 2011 at 12:30 a.m.
The question that is always asked is, is Jerry short for anything?
The answer is always no. My name isn't Geraldine or spelled with a G or an I at the end. It's Jerry and spelled the masculine way.
You see my name has a history. It wasn't my parents being crazy. It was my parents honoring my late uncle, Jerry Noble Allison.
He died two months before I was born in an Air Force plane accident.
The story is one that I've known since the second grade, when I told my class that I was named after my uncle. One that I proudly relay to anyone who asks. One that often brings tears to my eyes because it is not an easy story to tell.
Saturday, I relayed that story through a piece of paper on my back in the 5K Remembrance Run. It said, "I run for Jerry Noble Allison."
This is the first run I've dedicated to anyone. But it being Memorial Day weekend, it seemed fitting to run for my uncle and for all of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
During the run, I thought of my uncle often, thinking about what he would say to me and if he was a runner. At some points I felt like he was beside me.
My feet glided on the road. Despite the heat, I didn't feel its effects. I just ran.
The last tenth of the mile, I gave it all I had, running as fast as I could.
The race wasn't timed, so I can't say if I was faster than my last 5K or not. However, I can say that I finished stronger than I have in a long time. And at the end, I was beaming.
I know my uncle would have been proud.
Soon I'll be running for him again in the Marine Corps 10K, where I'm running for the non-profit USO that helps soldiers and their families.
I had been wanting to run for this charity for a while and I finally filled out the form to raise $750.
I signed up for the non-profit because I'm from a military family. Not only did my uncle serve, but also my boyfriend, my grandfathers, my great grandfathers and my own father.
I'm the first generation not to join a military branch, but that doesn't mean I can't give back to those who do. It's one of the reasons I support the USO.
The other is I've been through a deployment and know how rough it can be on service members and their families, but the USO tries to make it easier. They send care packages, free phone cards, provide entertainment centers at bases anywhere in the world and more. My boyfriend has benefited from these and so have many others.
That is why the organization is close to my heart and why I wanted to run for it.
I look forward to running the Marine Corps 10K, for my uncle again and the USO.
Today is just one of the many times that I will be remembering my uncle because he is always with me in my heart and in my name.
Jerry Allison is assistant presentation editor for the Victoria Advocate and avid runner. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.