Third annual Iwo Jima Flag Run at Palo Duro Canyon honors veterans past and present

Local News

AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Members of the community came together for the third annual Iwo Jima Flag Run at Palo Duro Canyon Saturday to honor heroes and pay tribute to an influential moment in Marine Corps history.

The Flag Run is a challenging team fun run dedicated to veterans past and present.

“It was six marines that planted the flag on Iwo Jima, where we lost over 7,000 Marines, right at 7,000 marines were killed on Iwo Jima. So we are recognizing that battle and my father who was an Iwo Jima survivor, but we are really recognizing all military, with a particular emphasis on the 13 we just lost recently,” said Johnny Cobb, founder of the Iwo Jima Flag Run.

The event started Saturday with a moment of silence for the 13 armed services members recently lost in Afghanistan.

Cobb said the idea came to him as a way to honor his father, who served in Iwo Jima.

“As soon as they bombed Pearl Harbor, he went and joined up. Joined the Marine Corps and wound up going through the bloodiest battle in Marine Corps history, going to Iwo Jima, then he had to go the occupation in Japan after they dropped the atomic bombs. He joined the Marine Reserves, he just got done with all of this stuff and starting a business with my mom and then he gets called back into Korea. So he had quite the journey, and then as it turned out, some of the radiation exposure he got in the occupation in Japan wound up killing him a little later when I was 13 years old,” said Cobb.

Cobb added this Flag Run is no easy feat as it is supposed to simulate Mt. Suribachi.

“That’s a tough old trail going up. Tough old trail going across. I mean it’s a challenge and we wanted it to be a challenge. You’re supposed to run together as a team and finish together as a team, a little team bonding, in doing a challenging event,” said Cobb.

All proceeds from Saturday’s event will go to the Brothers-Sisters of our Military Adventures, who assist with local veterans, first responders, and Gold Star Families.

When teams finished the course, they received a shirt, a Palo Duro Canyon Iwo Jima challenge coin, and sandwiches from Schlotzsky’s.

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