Story and photos by Larry Reilly
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs
Some 40 to 50 people gathered on Patch Barracks’ Husky Field to participate in a 5K run that had them earn their colors, June 23.
The 5K color run was in recognition of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer) Pride Month, organized by USAG Stuttgart’s Equal Opportunity Office.
The Department of Defense annually recognizes June as LGBT Pride Month. That recognition stems from the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal proclamation that former President Barack Obama signed on Sept. 20, 2011. The letter G, representing the gay community, was recently added to the Pride Month logo by the respective LGBT communities.
The Stuttgart Community has participated in a number of LGBTQ ceremonies during the past few years favoring the guest speaker ceremonies.
“We wanted to do something different this year,” said Dee Dimond, representative, Louisiana Masonic Jurisdiction, a non-profit community organization that hosted the run. “Instead of the traditional cake-cutting and speaker ceremony, we decided to do a color run, because no one should be afraid to show their true colors.”
The group gathered for this run didn’t include the traditional runners ready with their water bottles and stop watches to ensure their times were accurate and better than their last race.
This group included runners with colorful outfits, to include tutus and fluffy head gear as well as families with strollers and dogs on a leash. It was all about having fun, yet appreciating the cause. “It was a good event that enabled us as a family to have some fun and go at our own pace,” said Samson Roberts, who had the pleasure of pushing his little girls Rosealeigh and Romea in a double-wide stroller. ”The run was fun, but we also came out to support the overall cause of the run: equal rights” said Lanie Roberts.
The 5K color run snaked its way through Patch Barracks, and at each of the 1K markers the runners were covered with another color of the rainbow.
“I was covered with a lot of colored chalk and loved every bit of this run,” said Sonya Lindsey, who bet her 13-year-old son, Carter, that she could beat him. His sprint at the end silenced her claim. “Those young legs prevailed.”
Although there was no cost to run and no trophies for the winners, there was still a need for a number of people to volunteer their time to ensure the event was fun and successful.
“I am very thankful for the many people who volunteered their time to be chalk throwers and the DJ for the motivating music, but most of all for everyone who participated in the color run and being good natured about all the colored chalk we threw at them–and we threw a lot of chalk,” Dimond said. “Also, a big shout-out to the (MPs) for ensuring safety along the 5K course and the fire department for hosing down all the chalk on the road.”
When the last of the runners had dashed through the 5K tossing of colored chalk mark, Dimond had everyone grab some colored chalk for one last group throw to end it all with a lot of good natured smiles.
Editor’s note: The next big run coming up will be the annual Run to Remember, July 14. Watch the garrison’s Facebook and MWR pages for more info.