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Veterans come together to run for Tillman foundation

Posted at 1:34 PM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 16:48:25-05

It's been months of training for five veterans and the Father of a parish in Sahuarita.

"We brought {Father} J.C. along because we need a little help from god," laughed Joshua Sparling, a veteran and Pat Tillman Scholar.
Sparling and his team are about to run the Ragnar del Sol race; it's a more than 200 mile relay, and it's all for the cause that brought them together: the Pat Tillman Foundation.
"Instead of just running it, let's step it up and make it a fundraiser for the Tillman Foundation since they've supported us so much," said Wes Stiner, a veteran and Pat Tillman Scholar now working towards a law degree in Tucson.
Matt Randle, another Tillman Scholar, now a lawyer for veterans in Tucson said, "It's the military ethos--you don't leave anybody behind and you take care of each other."
During the race, each teammate will run about 33 miles. Father Juan Carlos Aguirre was not a runner at all until he started training last year. "It's been a challenge, and I've said this is the most painful thing I've done in my life."
Sparling, who lost his leg in combat in Iraq said Father Aguirre was hesitant at first. "He gave me this excuse, he said "I have flat feet" and I said, "well I have one feet," so he kind of lost his excuses with me."
Father Aguirre said despite not being a Tillman scholar, he feels inspired to run alongside veterans who have given so much, and that's what keeps him running.
"All of us have in common is that heart where you want to do just a little bit more," Sparling said.
This group is hoping to do a little bit more for our community one step at a time, and you can help them support future Tillman Scholars through their GoFundMe here.