Running for a reason

Kenn Oliver
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Back from Afghanistan, three soldiers will do the Tely 10 in full gear

Everyone has a reason to run the Tely 10. In Sunday’s 83rd running of the historic race there will be those trying to break a record time, and those just competing against themselves. Some will run in memory of a loved one, while countless more will use it as a milestone on their path to a healthier future.

Sgt. John Sloan, Officer Cadet Harry Little, and Sgt. John Carew of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment will be among the hundreds of people running in Sunday’s 83rd Tely 10 road race. But, unlike their fellow racers, the trio will be jogging and walking

Everyone has a reason to run the Tely 10.

In Sunday’s 83rd running of the historic race there will be those trying to break a record time, and those just competing against themselves. Some will run in memory of a loved one, while countless more will use it as a milestone on their path to a healthier future.

So when you see a trio of guys in fatigues and army boots, wearing 55-pound rucksacks following the race field Sunday morning, be assured they have a good reason, too.

Royal Newfoundland Regiment Sgts. John Sloan, 47, and John Carew, 46, and Officer Cadet Harry Little, all of whom served — operating outside the wire — in Afghanistan, are participating as a show of support for their Canadian Forces brothers and sisters still stationed there.

“We have so many friends who are still overseas, some from the regiment and some from our regular forces regiment,” says Sloan, who served in Afghanistan in 2007 and now works alongside Carew as a correctional officer at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary.

“We want to say thanks to the boys and girls still over there doing a tough job.”

The group is also running to raise awareness about the Forces' Soldier On program. Now in its fourth year, Soldier On and the accompanying fund helps ill and injured Forces members and their families live active lives by subsidizing their expenses.

“We want the public to remember the people who gave the ultimate sacrifice, but also the guys who got hurt, either physically, psychologically or emotionally.” Sgt. John Sloan

“It fills in the gaps between government programs and pensions,” explains Sloan, who was injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack while working in conjunction with local governments and security forces during his tour of Afghanistan.

“I’ve got past my injuries and tried to move on. I’m physically fine — some say I’m not mentally fine, though,” jokes Sloan, a 23-year service member.

Carew, who completed his tour in April, came home physically unscathed. But during his time in a Taliban stronghold — attached to a group of American soldiers — combat was a regular occurrence. So was injury and death.

“Ninety-five per cent of our time outside the wire was spent trying to help governance. But every time we’d leave we were shot at, mortared, or RPG’ed, and we’d have to engage the enemy and go back, and that was it for the mission. Pretty well every day,” recounts Carew, who saw 18 of his American brethren fall in combat.

(RPGs are rocket propelled grenades.)

Continued on next page ...

Organizations: Canadian Forces, Taliban

Geographic location: Afghanistan

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Recent comments

  • Jeff Warford
    July 26, 2010 - 08:47

    Great job boys! Great way to raise awareness for an excellent cause!

  • elizabeth carew
    July 25, 2010 - 22:54

    John Carew I am a very proud mom. Also congratulations to your friends for completing the run

  • Zeke
    July 25, 2010 - 10:59

    Well done "Lads"!! Makes me even more proud to have served with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. And still being a member of the military, this allows us all to reflect on the sacrifices being made overseas by our comrades.

  • Dan Desgrosseilliers
    July 25, 2010 - 03:40

    What an honourable cause gentlemen...we must never forget the sacrifice our young women and men in uniform make every day on our behalf...and as these three fine men remind us...let's make sure we are there to support the survivors....have a great a great Tely 10.

    • Melvin Ruby
      July 25, 2010 - 09:53

      Seeing these 3 soilders run this morning, made me really proud to call myself a Canadian. Everybody on the route should of saluted these 3 men. They are heros, not only for what they did this morning,but for willingly putting themselves in harms way, so we can sleep in saftey every night. That i say thank you.

    • Melvin Ruby
      July 25, 2010 - 09:54

      Seeing these 3 soilders run this morning, made me really proud to call myself a Canadian. Everybody on the route should of saluted these 3 men. They are heros, not only for what they did this morning,but for willingly putting themselves in harms way, so we can sleep in saftey every night. That i say thank you.

  • Roisin Carew-Arithi
    July 24, 2010 - 22:24

    As a civilian with the Department of National Defence in Halifax, I am aware of the military and what they do for us; however, I never knew what it would be like to have someone in Afghanistan until my brother, Sgt John Carew, went. I am very proud of him and ALL of the men and women serving around the world - and I love the fact that he will be running in the Tely 10 - Good luck John and Good luck Gerry (my other brother). Roisin

  • John
    July 24, 2010 - 20:00

    Next year, why not have a race with Corrections, Fire, Police, Navy, Army and Air Force. People could collect pledges and then donate to their favourite charity be it a Forces charity, MD for the Fire Dept, etc..

  • Shawn Clarke
    July 24, 2010 - 19:56

    Well done troops!