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Nearly 100 West Point Cadets Ready to Attack Marine Corps Marathon Oct. 30 with TAPS Run & Remember Team

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 11, 2011

WASHINGTON – Ninety-five West Pont cadets, staff, graduates and family members, will run the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday, October 30, 2011, as part of the TAPS Run & Remember Team.

This year, Team Long Gray Line and its 95 members, hope to raise $115,000 to help the families of our fallen military through TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. They have already raised more than $41,000 toward their goal this year. But time is running out to bring in donations, with less than two weeks left until race day.

All of the funds the cadets raise will help the families of our fallen military heroes through TAPS, which provides comfort and care to anyone grieving the death of someone who served in the military, regardless of where they died, or how they died. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, Good Grief Camps for children, regional grief seminars for adults, casualty casework assistance, grief and trauma resources, and a 24/7 resource and information helpline.

Every TAPS runner dedicates his or her run to the memory of a fallen military service member. Runners wear distinctive TAPS red, white and blue singlets, with a photograph of the service member they are running to remember on the back.

You can donate to TAPS through the Long Gray Line team at: 
http://TAPS.kintera.org/mcm2011/team_long_gray_line_page11     

In the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon, Team Long Gray Line had 15 runners and raised $15,000 for TAPS.

This year's team is coordinated by Taylor Mosera and Brance Waggoman. Before last year's Marine Corps Marathon, Mosera had never run a marathon before. His best friend, Waggoman, convinced him to give it a try.

Mosera heard about TAPS from his sponsoring officer at West Point, Major William Wright, who had run previously with the TAPS Run & Remember Team. Mosera was struggling with his motivation to run and Wright shared that the experience of running in memory of a fallen hero, was more meaningful for him, than just running a race. That gave Mosera the focus and inspiration he needed for his training.

“I ran for the chance to meet the families of those who had gone before me, in hopes of showing them some level of appreciation so they knew that their sacrifices were remembered,” said Mosera. He and Waggoman ran the Marine Corps Marathon last year, and vowed to return with an even bigger team from West Point in 2011.

They've found great support in TAPS Run & Remember Team director, Marie Campbell. “Without Marie's support and guidance, we would not have been able to expand the team this year and provide cadets with the valuable experience of serving,” said Mosera.

Overall, the TAPS Run & Remember Team will have a record-breaking 360+ runners in this year's Marine Corps Marathon, 10K and Kids Fun Run. Many of the runners are family members, who are running to remember a loved one who served in the military and died. Course spectators are encouraged to cheer for the TAPS Run & Remember Team runners out and spur them on toward the finish line.

Eleven years ago, when TAPS fielded its first team in the Marine Corps Marathon, there were only 2 runners, who ran in memory of our fallen heroes and raised funds to help TAPS. One of them was Marie Campbell, who began running as part of her own healing following the death of her Air Force husband in 1996 when terrorists bombed the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Today, she has grown the TAPS Run & Remember Team to hundreds of runners, who complete not only the Marine Corps Marathon, but races throughout the country to honor and remember our fallen troops. More information about the TAPS Run & Remember Team is available at: http://www.taps.org/friends/teamx  

About TAPS
Since its founding in 1994 by bereaved military families, TAPS has helped more than 30,000 surviving family members and caregivers supporting families coping with a military death. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org  or call toll-free at 800.959.TAPS.

Media contact: Ami Neiberger-Miller, TAPS Public Affairs Officer, 202.588.8277, ami@taps.org  

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