TAPS Honors Fallen Heroes at 42nd Annual Marine Corps Marathon

Team TAPS to Feature Almost 300 Runners in the Weekend’s Races


The Gold Star father and hero of the Boston Marathon bombing; a former Marine honoring the battle buddy who saved his life; and a Gold Star mother running her 11th Marathon to honor her son will all be part of Team TAPS in the Marine Corps Marathon this weekend and are available for media interviews.

Almost 300 runners supporting the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will run in the various races at this weekend’s 42nd Marine Corps Marathon to honor America’s fallen military heroes.

The runners, 160 of whom will run the full marathon, will run as part of Team TAPS, a group of nationwide supporters who participate in endurance events to honor and remember our fallen heroes. They will each have a photo of the hero they are honoring pinned to their singlet.

“Running 6.2 or 26.2 miles is a way for many of our surviving family members to honor their fallen military heroes,” said Kyle Harper, the surviving Gold Star fiancé of SSG Michael R Hullender who was killed in Iraq in 2007, and now TAPS Vice President of Health and Wellness. “Although the heroes are visibly honored today, we do our best every day to honor them, whether it is on a training run or during a race like the ones this week.”

One team member is Lisa Anderson, of Ventura, Calif., who is running her 11th Marine Corps Marathon in honor of her son, Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas Anderson, who died in 2004 in Iraq. Joining Lisa will be Maj. Scott Cuomo, Nick’s commanding officer from Iraq.

Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Kevin Schmiegel will also run the marathon in honor of his battle buddy, Marine Corps Lt. Col. Kevin Shea, who carried him three miles over his shoulder when he was injured. Lt. Col. Shea was later killed by rocket fire in Iraq on Sept. 14, 2004.

Carlos Arredondo will run the 10K in honor of his two sons, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo, who died in Iraq in 2004, and Brian Arredondo, who died by suicide in 2011. Carlos was present on the day of the Boston Marathon bombing and saved a life at the finish line; his story was recently featured in the movie “Stronger.”

Another large contingent of Team TAPS runners will honor West Point Cadet Mitchell Winey, who died in a training accident at Fort Hood, Texas, last year. “Team Mitch” will be made up of West Point cadets, parents of cadets and Mitch’s family members.

Media interested in interviewing a surviving family member running in honor of their loved one should contact Christine Fuentes at (540) 219-5636 or at christine.fuentes@taps.org, or stop by the TAPS tent at the finish line. In addition, Lisa Anderson will participate in Friday’s Marine Corps Marathon press conference.


The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the national organization providing compassionate care for the families of America’s fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 70,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers since 1994. TAPS provides peer based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, case work assistance, connections to community based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 202. 588.TAPS (8277).


Team TAPS began with two runners, who ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., in 2000. One of them was Marie Campbell, who lost her husband, U.S. Air Force Sgt. Dee "Soup" Campbell, in 1996 when a terrorist bomb took the lives of 19 airmen at the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.  Today, Team TAPS is a network of supporters nationwide engaging in endurance athletic events to honor and remember our fallen heroes. Get more information about upcoming team activities at www.taps.org/teamtaps.