Galloway salutes Run for the Fallen

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The Bayview Fire Company sets up a high-flying flag at Veterans Memorial Park.

GALLOWAY – When the fourth annual New Jersey Run for the Fallen reached the township Saturday, Sept 29 there was one thing it could count on – Galloway’s bravest.

Fire trucks were at each mile marker runners stopped at in the municipality – honoring those who’ve died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The run began Friday in Cape May and ended Sunday in Holmdel.

Runners started 6:30 a.m. Saturday in Somers Point and were averaging 6-minute miles between stops where flags changed hands and individual markers were placed to honor those who gave their lives.

It was still nearly 9 a.m. before the first Hero Marker, for Bradley Iorio, was presented to his mother, Laura, at Veteran’s Memorial Park on Route 9.

Gold Star Mother Laura Iorio, left, and Lynn Fogle, both of Galloway, await runners.

Laura Iorio said she first learned of the run in 2010 and her son’s marker was in Cape May County.

“His mile was in Ocean City,” Iorio said. “I was waiting and waiting and waiting by myself. It was hard.”

She said she didn’t ask to bump a Galloway hero, but since there were no others, her son’s marker was moved to the park near the Absecon border.

“I told my other son Vince where it was going to be,” Iorio said. “He said, ‘Where we nearly got arrested.”

As youngsters, her boys were part of a group playing “Manhunt” in the park.

“They were running around with flashlights around 1 or 2 a.m.,” Iorio said. “Naturally they attracted the attention of neighbors and the police were called.”

Luckily, no arrests were made.

“But this is where Bradley’s marker should be,” Iorio said.

“Last year there was a veteran at every marker so we weren’t all alone,” Iorio said. “This year I was told to expect the fire department. And true to form they were there. They were at every Galloway stop.”

And so were others. The run has gained momentum each year with more people knowing about it and wanting to participate.

“I knew that Bayview wanted to come out,” Iorio said. “I had no idea the Elks would be there, no idea that you would be there, no idea that the bagpipe player would be there.”

She said it was fantastic that others came out.

“I was totally surprised and very grateful,” Iorio said. “I’m grateful that they still remember them.”

Elks from all around the county could be found at the Galloway hero stops.

And the firefighters from different companies were there.

“We love what we do,” Oceanville Fire Capt. Mike Lancaster said. “We wouldn’t be in this if we weren’t a dedicated bunch of people.”

Bayview firefighters greet runners. From left are Josh Kirby, Capt. Randy Shepherd, Bob Pruchnicki and Mike O’Hagan.

 

Volunteers stand before wall commemorating the fallen. From left are piper Jim Dunbar, Normajean Whitaker, both of Absecon, Dick Bullock of Somers Point and Bob McCarty of Galloway.

Ron Powell of Brigantine awaits runners with Helen Quillen of Galloway.

Paul Aurelio of Brigantine, a Galloway Elk, left, and Capt. Mike Lancaster of the Oceanville Volunteer Fire Company.


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