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Though he couldn’t be there in person due to medical issues related to his injuries, Army First Lt. Micah Andersen was still a big part of Monday’s Veterans Day activities.
First, there was the 5K race held in his honor at 9 a.m., a race where, according to Andersen’s dad, Skip, 200 people from all over the country showed up to run and lend their support for the injured soldier.
While serving in Afghanistan, Andersen was severely wounded by a bomb blast. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation at the Center for the Intrepid, Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas.
On the event’s Facebook page, “Honor. Remember. Act: 5K Run/Walk to benefit 1st Lt. Micah Andersen,” the elder Andersen, said thank you to the event’s organizers, Sarah Brooks and Jet Skidmore.
“Sarah, a great big thank you from the Andersen’s! We are very grateful to you and all the volunteers. It was a beautiful morning filled with the sound and presence of wonderful people. All who attended gave us strength and a profound sense of gratitude for their support,” he said on the social networking page.
Skip also said soldiers from Micah’s platoon as well as friends and family from the region were there to lend their support. “All gave a little more strength, patience, endurance, and courage to each of us,” he said in the same post.
According to Brooks, more than $10,000 has been raised so far through the Facebook page, and 100 percent will be going toward Andersen’s recovery.
Andersen was also included in the thoughts of keynote speaker USAF Col. (retired) Edmond Keith.
He was commander of the 320 Expeditionary Support Group during Iraqi Freedom and is currently the division leader for Maintenance and Site Services at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
At a remembrance ceremony hosted by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8874, Keith relayed Andersen’s thoughts about his long process of recovery, which has included about 65 major surgeries, according to Keith.
“He said, ‘losing one leg sucks. Losing two legs sucks more. But, I have my brains, my eyes, my ears and two arms.
“Machines and a pickup (truck) will take care of my mobility.
“If I can see and hug my family, think, read, workout, drive and shoot, life’s good.’
“Such is the caliber of the men and women who answer our nation’s call,” Keith said in his remarks.
As Keith concluded, he urged the audience, mainly made up of veterans and their families, to do more for our veterans.
“I realize I’m preaching to the choir, but there’s so much we could do to help,” he said, adding that people can start by joining the organizations that helped with the post’s presentation, including American Legion Post 90, Elks B.P.O.E. Lodge 2083, Knights of Columbus Assembly 0688 and others.
He also urged people to go to the Facebook page mentioned earlier, and donate to the Micah Jay Andersen Fund, a fund that’s been set up to help in Andersen’s recovery.
Race organizers said donations can be transferred, wired or deposited into the “Honor, Remember. Act. 5k” account at Los Alamos National Bank.
The account number is 0156967801.