The Horace Orr American Legion Post 29 is part of the federally chartered veteran services organization and is located in Marietta, GA. Mr. Walt Cusick is the Commander of Post 29 and Mr. Tom Bell is the Vice Commander and Race Committee Chair. Mr. Ed Bruce, Mrs. Peggy Beascoechea and many others serve on Race Committee Team.
The Veterans Memorial 5K Race is recognized by the City of Marietta has a key event for the City each year because of the hard work and commitment of many Legion members, volunteers, participants and generous sponsors!
Prior to the Race this year, Post 29 hosted a series of pre-race events which included an American Legion Riders motorcycle ride on 21 August 2021 and a wine-tasting at the Marietta Wine Market on 23 October 2021.
One of the highlights of this year’s event was the fly-over of two Blackhawk Helicopters by the 78th Aviation Troop Command to coordinate the start of the Race!
Special guests at the Race included members of The Shepherd’s Men, an awesome group co-founded by Travis Ellis, who raise awareness about suicide prevention, post-traumatic stress disorders and traumatic brain injuries in association with the Shepherd’s Center in Atlanta.
Leadership from the Georgia National Guard, including Major General Tom Carden, The Adjutant General; Major General Tom Grabowski, Commanding General of the Georgia Air National Guard; Colonel Ron Speir, Georgia Air National Guard Director of Operations; BG (Ret) Tom Blackstock, Colonel Barry Simmons, Commander 78th AVN; CPT Darryl Griffing, Jr., 48th IBCT Med Ops, and other military leaders and members led the way for the Race this year as a show of support for Post 29 and the Georgia National Guard Foundation.
The Georgia Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Team, one of the sponsors of this awesome community event, did an outstanding job with participation and static displays again this year.
Following the Race, a Military Appreciation Celebration was held in Glover Park. The Opening Ceremony included remarks by Commander Walt Cusick, Maj General Tom Grabowski and Kerry Dwyer, GA Dept. of Military /services Boy Scout Troop 435 from East Cobb United Methodist Church presented the Colors. Jackson Carlisle, age 6, sang the National Anthem and a 50-member choral group from the Georgia Symphony Orchestra performed. The entire event was a great way to Honor All Who Served.
Net proceeds from the Race are designated for the Service Office of American Legion Post 29, the Shepherd’s Men SHARE Military Initiative at the Shepherd Spinal Clinic in Atlanta and the Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, Inc.
Prepared by: Harriet Morgan, Program Manager Georgia National Guard Family Support Foundation, Inc.