NORFOLK (NNS) -- Sailors stationed onboard USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) stepped off a 24-hour "Run for Life" event in support of Suicide Awareness Month, on the ship's flight deck, Sept. 25.
Hosted by the ship's Religious Ministries Team (RMT) and led by Personnel Specialist 3rd Class Marc Hargreaves, Sailors ran in increments of at least 30 minutes for a combined period of 24 hours to encourage a sense of community and to help raise awareness for suicide prevention.
Upon conclusion of the event at morning colors, Sept. 26; 73 Sailors ran a total of 4,560 laps equaling about 380 miles.
"No one Sailor could run for 24 hours straight, but together, shipmates can. No one person can stop suicides, but together, shipmates can," said Lt. Kevin Johnson, the ship's chaplain. "So many suicides can be prevented by shipmates helping shipmates."
Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Robert Strickler said he participated, "to support the cause."
The run also provided an opportunity to support physical readiness standards. Strickler said he was able use some of his run time toward improving his physical shape by adding in push-ups and sit-ups.
The run extended beyond individual Sailors. Many of the ship's organizations, divisions and departments participated as groups. For example, Deck Department ran for an hour and produced the top seven finishers in terms of mileage.
The lead runners were Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Sheunqua Williams (37.67 miles), Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Christopher Anderson (34.67 miles), and Seaman Britton Lyczkowski (22.67 miles).
During the entire 24 hour period, at least one Sailor was running on the flight deck, to include in the middle of the night.
Command Master Chief Lee Salas summarized the effort, "Fort McHenry Sailors are willing to do what it takes - even stay up all night - to save a life."
For more information from USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43). visit http://www.fort-mchenry.navy.mil/.
For more news from Expeditionary Strike Group 2, visit www.navy.mil/local/esg2/.