In March of 2015, Detective Aaron Lewallen was in Polygraph School, and one morning saw a news report about Kristina Tudor, an LAPD officer, that was getting ready to run the LA Marathon in full uniform to raise money for fallen LAPD officers. Detective Lewallen was inspired and began to research the idea. This was around the time the national narrative surrounding police officers was changing, and there was an increase in violence against police officers.
Detective Lewallen decided to train to run the Gusher Marathon in full uniform, and raise money for the Officer Bryan Hebert Memorial Foundation.Unfortunately, two weeks before the run Detective Lewallen sustained an injury which resulted in the tearing of all the tendons in his right ankle. He was unable to run the Gusher due to the injury. However, over 26 other officers stepped up to the plate, and ran relays for the 26.2 miles in Detective Lewallen’s place. Ultimately, $20k was raised for the OBHMF.
Around Christmas, Detective Lewallen was contacted by Detective Sean Dodge of the Modesto, California Police Department, who had called to congratulate him on the run. Detective Lewallen had to relay the story of his injury, but also the awesome success of the fundraiser/run in spite of his injury. Detective Dodge asked Detective Lewallen if he wanted a chance at redemption and began to tell Detective Lewallen about his plan to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. in full uniform. Detective Dodge recruited a group of police officers from around the country to come together for a common purpose.
On October 22, 2017, this outstanding group of police officers will run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C., in full duty uniform. This includes, uniform, bullet proof vest, gunbelt, and boots, which is an additional 25 pounds. The officers are enduring 26.2 miles of pain to raise awareness, promote fitness, engage the community, and raise funds for the families of fallen officers.
Every year dozens of brave men and women in law enforcement pay the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the communities they serve and love. Detective Lewallen and others will run so the fallen officers will not be forgotten. There is a belief that an officer dies twice; once is their body dying and the second is their memory dying. That is why we have memorials with names, and ceremonies, and photos. While we couldn’t prevent their first death, we will protect the fallen from the second death. They will be REMEMBERED!
Please go to www.youcaring.com/projectremember and donate. All funds are going to four different law enforcement memorial organizations that preserve the memory of officers killed in the line of duty and take care of the shattered families that are left behind.
Detective Lewallen has chosen the charitable organization C.O.P.S (Concerns of Police Survivors). C.O.P.S. provides scholarships, peer-support at the national, state, and local levels, “C.O.P.S. Kids” a counseling reimbursement program, the “C.O.P.S. Kids” Summer Camp, “C.O.P.S. Teens” Outward Bound experience for young adults, special retreats for spouses, parents, siblings, adult children, extended family, and co-workers, trial and parole support, and other assistance programs.
In the course becoming a member of Project Remember, Detective Lewallen learned about the Peace Officer Memorial ½ Marathon, Full Gear Challenge in Modesto, CA on October 1st. This run will feature approximately 50 officers running in full uniform. Several members of Project Remember will also be running in this run as well. There is supposed to be a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records to document the most number of uniformed officers running a ½ marathon.