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The inaugural beach 5K, held in Destin, Fla., more than doubled last year’s fundraising


DESTIN, FL- Early on the morning of Sept. 30, over 125 runners met on the beach to remember Army Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Weathers, a 7th Special Forces Group soldier who was killed in Afghanistan three years earlier.

The group of racers and their friends and family gathered quietly in front of The Crab Trap where 45 American flags were placed in the sugar-white sand, one for every Army 7th Special Forces Group soldier killed since September 11, 2001.

Weathers’ niece and nephew sang the national anthem, and organizers presented an honor flag to the family of another fallen 7th Group soldier, Army Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar, who died in combat in April.

Then, the racers took their marks and set off for a 5K run along the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Many carried large American flags.

“It was so inspiring to see the wonderful turnout to remember Andrew and honor all the soldiers who have given their lives to protect our freedoms,” said Mike Weathers, Andrew’s father. “We want all families of fallen soldiers to know their loved ones will never be forgotten, just like Andrew.”

(See a video from the race.)

This is the third year the Andrew Weathers Memorial Foundation has hosted their Never Forget Run fundraiser, and the first time they held one in Northwest Florida where Andrew Weathers was stationed with the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne). Weathers was killed in action in Afghanistan on September 30, 2014, while defending against a Taliban attack. He was 30 years old.

Over 8,000 highly trained U.S. military Special Operations personnel are deployed in more than 80 countries across the globe at any time. This includes the Army's Special Forces, known as Green Berets. Special Operations make up about 5 percent of the U.S. military but have accounted for over half the U.S. military casualties since 2015, according to a recent report in The New York Times.

The Andrew Weathers Memorial Foundation began in 2015 when Andrew’s parents, Mike and Carrie Weathers, still reeling from their loss, decided to try to make a difference for other families of fallen soldiers.

In the tumultuous days after they learned the news of their son’s death, his body was returned to the states and he was buried with honors at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington D.C. After the ceremony, the family traveled over 1,000 miles back to their home in Ball, La., unsure when they would be able to be by their son’s graveside again.

They soon realized the Army didn’t have a program to help families return to Arlington to visit their loved one’s graves. They wanted to help.

Since then, the organization has raised over $95,000 and sent four families on trips to Arlington, including airfare, lodging, food and more.

This year’s fundraising effort far exceeded last year’s total of $8,000, and organizers hope the foundation will only continue to grow.

“We felt driven to do this and hope that we are able to make a difference in many more families’ lives,” Carrie Weathers said.

Sponsors of the event included Crab Trap Destin, Dog Tag Brewing, 8 Fifty Productions, The Hooker Nation Podcast, BrandBoss Creative, Honor & Remember, All Weathers Arms and Jay’s Guns. International Running Co. was instrumental in assisting with race set-up and more.

Saltwater Restaurants Inc., Joan and Stephen Carter, Marlin Grill, Mitch Clabeaux, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation, Junior League, The 30A Company, BOTE Board, All Weather Arms, YETI, Marriott, Brotula’s, Timber Creek Spirits and My Vacation Haven provided auction items.

Besides its work for families of fallen soldiers, the foundation also accepts applications for any kind of support for Special Forces soldiers or their families. Learn more at People can donate to the cause at

A text document version of this release is available here:

Sponsored Gold Star Family

AWMF is proud to announce that we will be sending a recent nominee to Arlington. The family of PFC Steven Davis will be visiting his grave this summer. 


Private First Class Steven A. Davis, 23, of Woodbridge, Virginia, died July 4, 2007, in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with grenades. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.

One Carried On a Family Tradition; Another Was a 'Soldier at Heart'

By Mark Berman 
Courtesy of the Washington Post 
Thursday, July 19, 2007

Army Private First Class Steven A. Davis was a fearless, stand-up guy who exceeded expectations and wanted to take care of his young family, those who knew him said. Yesterday, friends and family members gathered to honor Davis as he was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

Davis, 23, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was killed July 4, 2007,  in Baghdad when insurgents attacked his unit with grenades, the Defense Department reported. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division based at Fort Carson, Colorado.

More than 90 mourners stood under a cloudy sky and braved intermittent rain to pay their respects to Davis, who was the 351st member of the military killed in Iraq to be buried at Arlington.

Davis came from a family steeped in military tradition. His mother, Tess Davis, is a paramedic in Iraq; his grandfather, Rick Lara, is there as a mechanic; and his younger brother, Christopher, is a soldier there as well, said Davis's father, Buck, an Army veteran who spoke to The Washington Post this month.

"He had no sense of any type of fear," Buck Davis said. He said he had encouraged his son to work and go to school, because not everyone is suited for military service.

But Buck Davis said his son turned out to be "a really good soldier. He exceeded all of my expectations."

As a teenager, Davis was the only youth allowed to play ice hockey with the grown-ups at Fort Bragg, his father said.

As an adult, Davis continued to show maturity beyond his years, joining the Army to support his family. His wife, Ayla, gave birth to their daughter, Elizabeth, in April 2006.

"He wanted to be a man and take care of his family," his sister-in-law Michelle Davis told The Post in an interview this month.

Yesterday, Ayla Davis received a folded American flag while Elizabeth sat on her grandmother's lap. Davis's parents also received flags, as the three family members in Iraq had returned for the funeral.

Although Davis had only been in the Army since 2005, he had received several awards, including the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal. He was on his first tour in Iraq and had been home in April to celebrate his daughter's 1st birthday.

Beside his grave were half a dozen wreaths and floral arrangements, including a red and white wreath from the Baghdad fire department, with a card that read: "With heavy hearts, please hear the words we are not able to speak."

Earlier yesterday, mourners had gathered to say goodbye to another Southern son, Army Sergeant Gene L. Lamie of Homerville, Georgia. Family members said that there was little doubt that Lamie was going to join the military.

"He grew up with a soldier's heart," his brother, John Lamie, told the Florida Times-Union last week.

His mother, Linda Lamie, agreed. "My son served his country. He was a soldier at heart. His biggest concern was to get the people under him home."

Lamie, 25, died July 6, 2007,  in Iraq of wounds suffered when a makeshift bomb detonated near his vehicle. Private First Class Le Ron A. Wilson, 18, of Queens, New York, was also killed. Lamie was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division based at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

More than 50 mourners followed Lamie's flag-draped silver coffin to his grave site. He was the 350th member of the military killed in Iraq to be laid to rest at Arlington.

Lamie's wife, Dara, was presented with a folded flag, as were his father, Eugene M. Lamie, and mother.

Lamie's brother John Lamie, a Georgia National Guardsman, served in Iraq and spoke with his brother after his own squad suffered casualties.

"He told me we were soldiers," John Lamie told the Times-Union. "We were meant to do what we were doing."

The Davis and Lamie services were among 32 burials at Arlington yesterday. Separated by two years in life and two days in death, the men were laid to rest side by side in what John Lamie called "a house of heroes." 



Read more HERE.


On July 7, 2014, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Lowrey was shot in the head while serving with the 7th Special Forces Group in Afghanistan. Enduring over two years of intensive rehabilitation and endless medical care, he has since been medically retired from the United States Army. Although he has made a full cognitive recovery, he is still in need of ongoing treatment and physical therapy.  A military support organization, Save My Vet, began to fundraise to fly Lowrey’s family, to his retirement Ceremony on January 6th, 2017. The Andrew Weathers Memorial Foundation reached out to see how they could help.

“Andrew served in the same Battalion with Joe. When Andrew was killed in action on September 30th, 2014, Joe reached out to us,” says Carrie Davis, sister of Andrew Weathers and Co-Founder of the Andrew Weathers Memorial Foundation. “When you serve your country together, you become family. The brotherhood is strong. Although we lost Andrew, we are thankful everyday for each soldier that makes it home safely. We owe it Joe to support him in some small way.”

With ongoing medical demands for his recovery, and certain out of pocket therapies such as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, the Andrew Weathers Memorial Foundation donated $1,000 to Save My Vet and their mission to care for Joe and his continued care.

These two organizations recognize the need for continued support of the veteran community, as well as their families. Their missions are well -aligned and they need your help. The Andrew Weathers Memorial Foundation continues to pursue their mission of sending Gold Star families to Arlington National Cemetery. The hope is to continue to serve the Special Forces community, and to serve those that have served our country. If you are interested in sponsorship or becoming a donor, please visit

About Andrew Weathers Memorial Foundation:

The mission of the foundation is to raise awareness and to meet the needs of Special Forces Soldiers and their families. AWMF raises funds to honor families of fallen soldiers by providing trips to Arlington National Cemetery. We strive to live a life worthy of Andrew’s sacrifice. To find out more or to donate, please visit

About Save My Vet

savemyvet's mission is to provide financial relief directly to the veteran and families in need for their struggle from your kind donation or sponsorship. To fnd out more or to donate, please visit

Heroes on Helmets

I would like to tell you about how my journey with Andy began. It was a normal day in school, when suddenly the coaches called all the football players down to the gym. The meeting was about a program called “Heros on Helmets”. Each member on our team was given an American Flag with the name of a Fallen Hero on it. One by one they asked us to take upon the fallen soldier as we placed the flag on the back of our helmets.

Personally I was very excited for this amazing opportunity to play for a fallen soldier that put his life on the line for my freedom. As I looked upon my helmet and saw the name Andrew T. Weathers, I promised myself that I would put my all on the field every single practice and game. When I returned home that night I looked up everything I could find about my fallen hero. The more I read about Andy the more I felt that I had a huge roll to fill. Andy’s brotherhood that he had with his team made me really open my eyes, making me motivated to be a leader just like he was.

The team captains were chosen and I was so happy when I was elected as one. It made me feel like I was following Andy as I felt him with me as I lead my teammates. Every time I stepped onto the field I had a rush of emotions come over me when I looked at the flag and heard the National Anthem played, I felt invincible and I knew that Andy was standing right next to me.

The opportunity to let Andy live through me playing was an honor. Every game I was blessed to score. By the end of the season I was keyed by every team we played due to the games before in which I had played better than I ever have in my life. I do not say these things to boast, it is because Andy was with me.

Senior night was one of my best games which lead my team to the first District Championship in Bear Lake Football history. As we went on to state we won our first game which was the farthest any team had gone. Advancing on we played another game where we were not favored to even come close to winning but we shocked everyone with an upset.

Going on to the finals we were going to face a team that was so much bigger than we were. Those boys were gigantic! We started off really bad, letting them jump ahead 12-0 in the first quarter. I had a huge burst of energy and ran down the field powering over our opponents, refusing to go down but finally getting tacked by 3 of the opposing players putting us on the 3 yard line. As I stood up from that run I bent over in pain. As I came off the field I never thought that I would be able to go back onto the field, thus ending my football season. I suffered an AC joint tear in my shoulder. The thought of having to sit out the last 3 quarters of my hight school career killed me. But every time I looked down on my arm, I saw the name, Andrew T. Weathers. It made me think… Andrew never gave up, He fought through pain and gave life everything he had. The coaches allowed me back into the game. I pushed the pain aside and looked to Andy to help me push through this trial. In the end we lost that game by 6 points but I had no doubt that I left everything on the field that night for Andy. I am positive that I could not have played as well as I did this season if it hadn’t of been for the help of Andy. I was awarded First team running back of the year as well as being invited to go play on the Idaho All State Football team. I am looking forward to having Andy with me through the rest of my senior year as I continue on through Basketball and Baseball. I am nothing but grateful for being able to represent Andy. It has been a great honor. This has truly been a life changing experience for me.

My favorite quote from this year is: “It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it’s how may times you choose to get back up!” -- Vince Lombardi