COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Mike Ehredt will run a marathon a day for the next 11 weeks, pausing at each mile to salute every fallen veteran of the war in Afghanistan. Two years ago the Army veteran and retired postal worker from Idaho ran more than 4,000 miles across the country from Oregon to Maine, in honor of those lost in Iraq. Now he’s at it again with his Project America Run.
“I’ll be running from the Canadian border north of International Falls, Minnesota, and I’ll head south through the center of the country and end at the Gulf of Mexico outside of Galveston, Texas on Veteran’s Day November 11th. It’s a mile for each service member we’ve lost in Afghanistan,” Ehredt said.
The 2,100 mile trek means he carries 2,100 flags. He pushes them along in a jogger stroller, each with a yellow ribbon bearing the name, age and rank of each service member America has lost in Afghanistan. The long line of flags roadside make what he calls, an invisible wall of honor. Ehredt says it’s his personal tribute to those who have served our country.
“Mike is very self motivated and he does it for all the right reasons. I helped write the names on all the yellow ribbons and suddenly that person becomes not a number but a name, and he died for us,” said Sara Thompson, a friend of Ehredt’s.
“The flags to me symbolize it. It shows a diversity of the people involved, the loved ones we lost,” said Ehredt.
Ehredt is making the trip solo. He rests every night with a local host home or church. He plans to run down the Natchez Trace in mid October, making stops through Northeast Mississippi in Tupelo, Houston, and Maben.
If you would like to be a host home for Mike during his time in Northeast Mississippi, contact Melissa Whitehead, Project America Run spokeswoman, at (866) 624-9695, or visit www.projectamericarun.com.