LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - An Arkansas man ran across the state with the American flag to honor our fallen military and first responders.
Dan Ring, 61, lives in northeast Arkansas in a town called Paragould. Those who live in the area can see him daily running up and down Highway 49 between Paragould and Brookland. He’s known to the community.
But on October 30 Dan began his river-to-river trek across the state. “If you look for me running down Hwy 49 in NEA the next two weeks, you will not see me. I am standing on the Oklahoma-Arkansas line in Fort Smith, Arkansas, overlooking the Arkansas River. From here, I plan to run across the state of Arkansas to the Mississippi River, in Memphis, Tennessee,” he said in a Facebook post.
He partnered with 'Flags 4 Fallen,' a non-profit organization that recruits runners across the country to carry flags in local races in honor of our fallen heroes. “Richard Clark, the organizer of 'Flags 4 Fallen' contacted me earlier this year to see if we would allow a runner to carry a flag in a race. I was the race director. I was humbled and considered it an honor and a privilege to allow the sister of a fallen Marine to carry a flag in our race. It was awesome,” he said. “We were able to purchase flags for other runners to do the same with some of the race proceeds.”
His journey would take him across the Arkansas-Tennessee border in time for Veterans Day on November 11. “I will carry our Flag, my Flag, your Flag, the Flag of the United States of America, in honor of every individual who has worn the uniform, of any branch of our military, or any branch of our law enforcement agencies, or any first responder, and has given their life in the line of duty,” the post read. “It will be my high privilege and honor to carry this flag, with a grateful heart for their service and their sacrifice. Asian, Latino, Native American, Black, or White, we all bleed the same. Let’s run this race called ‘LIFE’ together. Let’s stand for one another. If we’re going to fight, let’s fight for each other. If we’re going to shout, let love be our cry.
Ring ran about 25 miles per day during his journey. In case you didn’t know, a marathon is 26.2 miles. Now you try running a marathon every day for 11 days straight. Talk about a superhero! We tip our hats to you, sir!
“The only plan that I have is to run about 25 miles every day, meeting new people, shaking hands, hugging necks, and praying with new friends along the way,” he said. While Dan isn’t a veteran himself and hasn’t lost any military relatives, but he has experienced loss in his family.
Ring started at the Arkansas River in Fort Smith, took Highway 64 to Conway, then Highway 365 to North Little Rock. From North Little Rock, he would take Highway 70 all the way to Memphis, Tennessee. His entire route is over 280 miles. It’s about four and a half hours in a car.
He started on his journey without plans for lodging or food. But, the hearts of Arkansans are huge. So, Dan was taken care of.
On Veterans Day, Dan walked over the bridge into Tennessee. His journey was complete. And he wasn’t alone.
Thank you, Dan. Thank you for raising awareness to our nation's veterans past, present and future. You’re a Rockstar!
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