Starting adjacent to the very thought provoking Arlington Cemetary Alan ran with Stuart Taylor, Director Washington DC & Metro Area Allied Forces Foundation, Josh Ploetz American Baton Custodian and very special lady Amie Kalsbeek who has humility and strength one can only admire, all sharing the American Baton and message as they ran as part of the AFF SideXSide team

Alan said he was totally overwhelmed with the hugs and the way that people appreciated the Baton when he and the others in the team explained its cause. The most memorable moment of the marathon was meeting Jax Owens, a lower leg amputee at the ‘Blue Mile’ Jax had never run a marathon before and was attempting it with her new prosthetic, amazing fortitude and determination saw her to the finish, a fabulous example to us all!

During the run the team stopped to explain the Baton’s purpose to many runners and supporters, so poignant at one stage to see USA Medic running with the Baton. The day after the Marathon Alan was honoured to meet General Dempsey CJCOS with Brian Battaglia Senior NCO to the JCOS in the Pentagon Press Room and humbled to see the American Baton in their hands

The team were running with the Baton and its Message of Conscience in recognition of British and American forces who have fought and died side by side for over 100 years, their families experiencing the same emotions and heartaches, all of us aware of the ultimate sacrifice made by friends and comrades…..We must never forget that freedom has never been free and never will be, all free nations should respect and give due care to those who protect the freedoms we all cherish and their families.