WNYT.com

Christmas Eve road march through Glens Falls will honor and remember soldiers

Posted at: 12/19/2012 4:35 PM
Updated at: 12/19/2012 5:48 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

GLENS FALLS - They're a couple on a mission.

Retired Sgt. First Class Arthur Coon and his wife, Julie, are working to honor those soldiers who won't be home for Christmas.

The Glens Falls couple is planning its annual road march on Christmas Eve.

Soldiers who are home for the holidays will be joined by families and others looking for a unique way to say thank you to the troops. They'll walk about three and a half miles. Or as they like to say, "suffer a little" to honor those who might suffer for us.

"We remember them at a time when we could be comfortable in our homes, wrapping presents," said SFC Coon. "We take a little bit of our time to suffer along with them and sacrifice."

The road march has become an annual Christmas tradition in Glens Falls. Growing quickly from a humble beginning a few years ago.

The first time Sgt. Coon did this was in 2004 when he had a just a couple dozen people join him.

All of the marchers who sign up ahead of time will receive a lanyard where they can write the name of those they're honoring, or remembering.

Sgt. Coon's lanyard will need to be longer than most. He marches in memory of deceased soldiers he recruited. People like Nate Brown and Chad Byrne.

The march steps off from the Glens Falls Civic Center at 9 o'clock in the morning on Monday, Christmas Eve.

"When I have a phone call from a mom who says 'this is my daughter's first year in Afghanistan and I don't know what to do, I want to come,' that's all it is. Everybody's here for the same reason," said Julie Coon.

There's no charge to march. People are asked to bring something that might be included in a care package to send to a soldier.

More information: http://sfccoonroadmarch.com/