10th Annual Watermelon Run for the Fallen

The Watermelon Run For The Fallen celebrated the 10th anniversary of the nation’s largest such event of honor and remembrance on Saturday 17 August 2019 in the Department of Defense Covenant City of Hempstead, Texas. The support from the Army, Texas Army National Guard, Air Force and Marine Corps was overwhelming. “The Run” was supported with four helos, two of which were Army Blackhawks from the 1/158th in Conroe. One Blackhawk escorted more than 500 patriots on bikes into the football stadium at ~ 0645 while the second Blackhawk from the 1/158th and an AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter from the Texas Army National Guard’s 1/149th Attack and Recon Battalion were landing in downtown Hempstead for static display in addition to a Memorial Hermann Life Flight helo and crew. After the Blackhawk escorted the patriots on bikes into the stadium, it settled into the LZ in downtown Hempstead across the street from the Jeffery Lee Hartley Memorial for static display. The large crowd enjoyed the return of U. S. Army Chief Warrant Officer, Retired, Jay Stokes, and his team of sky divers. Jay jumped into the Hempstead High School football stadium from 5,000 feet with a 3,500 square foot American flag which he expertly placed directly in the middle of the football field on the 50 yard line. The Hempstead Fire Department shot off its red, white and blue water cannons while the Hempstead High School band played a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem as Jay brought Old Glory into the stadium where he flew and held above the stadium while bringing our national standard gently down to the surface where Air Force, Army and Marine recruits recovered and handled her with respect. The Galveston Tracs Reserve Unit, Charlie Company, brought a 26-ton Amphibious Assault Vehicle to Hempstead where they manned it for static display which the crowd thoroughly enjoyed as they also enjoyed all of the helos and other interesting military displays. The Hempstead High School football stadium was blanketed with American and military service flags provided and set-up by Hempstead’s own Red Foster and his team of devoted patriots.

We would like to also extend a big Texas thank you to our keynote speaker, wounded military veteran and U.S. Representative Dan Crenshaw, who represents our great state of Texas!


OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
OME Watermelon Run
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