Tampa Navy Petty Officer plans Memorial Day run, dedicating each mile to fallen heroes

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa man, who is also an active member of the United States Navy, is running this Memorial Day to honor fallen heroes. 

Navy Petty Officer First Class Randall Kopytowski, who is currently stationed at MacDill Air Force Base, plans to run four miles every four hours for 48 hours straight while carrying the American flag. He plans to start at midnight on Memorial Day.  

“Last week at work, I was talking to some friends about David Goggins’ ‘4x4x48 running challenge,‘” Kopytowski explained. “I knew I wanted to do it but I wanted to connect it somehow to Memorial Day too.” 

Kopytowski is now asking for the public to nominate their heroes so he can dedicate each mile to those service members. 

“You can nominate anyone who has lost their life in the War on Terror. So 2001 to present,” said Kopytowski. “I can run for their individual loved one, their husband, their wife, their father, their mother. Whatever it may be, I just want to make people feel more connected.” 

Kopytowski explains to WFLA.com, it’s important that the families of the fallen know that their loved ones aren’t forgotten. 

“They say we die two deaths, once when your body passes away and then once the last time your name is ever repeated in life. I just want to make sure no one forgets those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”  

A Facebook page called Miles For Military Heroes has been set up for the public to submit nominations, along with pictures and stories of their hero. Additionally, Kopytowski tells WFLA.com he’s asking anyone who may be interested to join him on his run.

“Even though we have Memorial Day once a year and we think about the fallen service members, we should be thinking about that all year long. A lot happens on Memorial Day like parties, but with what is going on in the world right now, there is less of that going on. So maybe we can take more time to honor the heroes that have given their lives,” said Kopytowski. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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