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Army families on base going on the Feet for Freedom Fun Run, Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Vilseck, Germany.
Army families on base going on the Feet for Freedom Fun Run, Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Vilseck, Germany. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Army families on base going on the Feet for Freedom Fun Run, Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Vilseck, Germany.
Army families on base going on the Feet for Freedom Fun Run, Thursday, May 24, 2018, at Vilseck, Germany. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Students at Vilseck Elementary School race one another during the Feet for Freedom Fun Run, Thursday, May 24, 2018, in Vilseck, Germany.
Students at Vilseck Elementary School race one another during the Feet for Freedom Fun Run, Thursday, May 24, 2018, in Vilseck, Germany. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

VILSECK, Germany – About 500 soldiers, families and kids walked and ran on Thursday in the eighth annual Feet for Freedom Fun Run on base to get an early start on Memorial Day weekend.

The run was launched to show support for children of parents then deployed to Iraq.

“To Iraq and back” was the rallying cry of the run back then, said Joan Larsen-Nelson, who teaches at Vilseck Elementary School. “Now, it is mostly a fitness and fun community event.”

Some of the students have been training for the past several months in pursuit of the best time; others, adopting a more leisurely pace, were content to get a break from the classroom.

Most of the runners made it back before it started to rain. Only the slowest of walkers got drenched.

egnash.martin@stripes.com Twitter: @Marty_Stripes

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