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Rolling tribute to fallen soldiers coming to city

Runners escorted by the Patriot Guard will be in Maumelle shortly after noon on Sunday to pay tribute to our local fallen heroes and Maumelle residents are urged to stand by the roadway and pay respects to the fallen and to those who honor them.

Maumelle police chief Sam Williams said its always an emotional sight just to see the hundreds of motorcycles come through town with huge American flags attached and he said he hoped Maumelle had a good showing to pay respect for the fallen.

Capt. Keith Eremea, commander of the Arkansas State Police’s Troop A which includes Pulaski, Faulkner, Lonoke and Saline Counties, said the Arkansas Run for the Fallen Soldier will begin in Ozark Saturday, March 16 at 7 a.m. and reach his Troop in Faulkner County around 7 a.m. on Sunday morning and be in Maumelle shortly after noon.

Runners will run six to seven miles and place an American flag along with a nameplate of each Arkansan killed in recent wars which will be planted at designated locations.

The famed Patriot Guard motorcycle group will escort the runners as will members of the Arkansas State Police, Eremea said.

The runners should arrive at the intersection of Arkansas Highway 365 and Maumelle Boulevard around 11:40 a.m. on Sunday where a flag will be placed in honor of Navy Corpsman Michael Vann Johnson who was killed in Iraq in 2003.

Around 12:30 p.m. another flag will be placed in honor of Staff Sgt. Gary Brown, a member of the Arkansas National Guard’s 77th Aviation Battalion who was killed in a Blackhawk crash in 2007.

Another stop near Lake Valencia will honor U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. John W. Brown who was killed in 2011 in a CH-47 Chinook helicopter crash and around 12:50 near the McDonald’s on Counts Massie Road another stop to plant a flag to honor Chief Warrant Officer Four Patrick Kordsmeier, another North Little Rock guardsman who was killed in Iraq in 2004 will occur.

Williams said the police cars and motorcycles and flags makes for a photographic opportunity and many Maumelle residents just turn out to line the streets with American Flags and wave in support of everyone involved in this fundraiser.

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