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'We are in desperate need of U.S. military boots': Fort Bragg seeks boots for memorial

A child waits for his family while visiting a boot laying memorial display at Fort Bragg, N.C., May 19, 2019. The memorial honored those who were lost since the Sept. 11, 2001---terrorist attacks, and hosted over 7,000 boots with each carrying the photo of a fallen service member.

HUBERT D. DELANY III/U.S. ARMY

By RACHAEL RILEY | The Fayetteville Observer | Published: March 30, 2021

FORT BRAGG (Tribune News Service) — More than 2,000 military boots are needed for the annual Run, Honor, Remember 5K and boot display in May hosted by Fort Bragg's Survivor Outreach Services Office, post officials said.

Since 2014, Fort Bragg has displayed more than 7,000 boots each year to represent service members from all branches who have died since 9/11.

The need this year is greater than in the past because more than 4,000 boots were thrown away after being damaged by mold over the years, Watson said.

"We are in desperate need of U.S. military boots — all types," said Charlotte Watson, program manager of Fort Bragg's Survivor Outreach Services.

All military boots in presentable condition will all be accepted.

Fort Bragg's display will be located on Hedrick Field and is part of the annual remembrance 5K held.

"It is an amazing tribute, and we're really excited and hopeful that this event will take place this year," Watson said.

The idea for the display came from similar ones at Fort Hood, Texas, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Each boot will be displayed with a tag with the service member's name, photo, branch of service, unit and date of death. Watson said donations can be made through April 16.

Boots can be dropped off at the Fort Bragg Survivor Outreach Services Office at Building 4-2133 Normandy Drive; at the Soldier and Family Readiness Group Center at Building, Building 236 Interceptor Road; or by the automatic teller machine in the main lobby of the Soldier Support Center Building 4-2843 Normandy Drive.

For additional information on boot donation, call 910-396-0384.

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