Tom Pacyna via Crowdrise
January 26, 2012
BENEFITING: RUN FOR THE FALLEN MAINE
EVENT DATE: Apr 16, 2012
My name is Tom Pacyna, and I am running in the 116th Boston Marathon in memory of Army Capt. Christopher S. Cash on Patriot’s Day, April 16, 2012. I am extremely grateful to Capt. Cash’s mom and step-dad, Nancy and Bob Kelley, for allowing me to run in honor of their son, Chris.
All funds that I raise for Run For the Fallen Maine, a wonderful organization whose mission is to keep the memory of fallen heroes alive, will directly benefit The Captain Christopher S. Cash Memorial 5K. This annual event, now in its 8th year, was founded by Nancy and Bob Kelley to honor their son; his love of running, and to raise funds to award scholarships to outstanding students whose character represents that which Captain Cash stood for.
Capt. Cash spent his early childhood in Rhode Island and grew up in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, a town that he loved. He was a 1985 graduate of Old Orchard Beach High School where he was a passionate and avid runner excelling in track and field and cross-country running. He won several state titles in track events and qualified for the Junior National Olympics in 1984!
In 1987, Chris began his 17-year military career attending the Army Ranger School at Fort Bragg. He served for four years as a Ranger with the 82nd Airborne Division before moving back to Maine and joining the Army National Guard. Chris and his wife later moved to eastern North Carolina where he transferred to the North Carolina Army National Guard. While serving in North Carolina, he began his college studies and graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in health and fitness and a master’s degree in health education. When not on active duty, Chris was employed as an exercise physiologist for a health and fitness center.
Capt. Cash proudly served our country as an Infantry Officer and Company Commander in the Army National Guard, assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry, of Jacksonville, N.C. The 1st Battalion in which he served was deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. On June 24, 2004, fierce fighting broke out in Baqubah, Iraq when insurgents attempted to ambush the 1st Battalion, 120th Infantry. Capt. Cash was called in to lead his company when the armored vehicle he was riding in came under heavy fire. He gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country that day while looking out for the safety and wellbeing of the men he led.
The word, integrity, is what comes to my mind when thinking about Capt. Cash. He had a drive to help others, and he proudly served his country as a great soldier and leader who was able to inspire those underneath him. Capt. Cash was awarded a Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and the Bronze Star for meritorious service. In addition, he had earlier earned the Army’s Ranger Tab. The Captain Christopher S. Cash United States Armed Forces Center was dedicated in a ceremony September 11, 2006 in Winterville, NC to honor his memory.
On June 25, 2011, Major General John Libby of the Maine National Guard and Peter Ogden of Maine Veterans’ Services presented Captain Cash’s Silver Star and Gold Star Honorable Service Awards to his mom, Nancy, at the 7th annual Captain Christopher S. Cash Memorial 5K event in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. The inscription on one of the awards reads “To those who have made the ultimate sacrifice from a grateful State.” Dog tags with Capt. Cash’s name were also hung on The Battlefield Cross Memorial located in the Maine State House Hall of Flags in 2011.
Chris touched the lives of many and will always be remembered as a strong, loving, caring and courageous man. He was a proud father of two sons, loving husband, and an incredible son to Nancy and Bob. He has been described as “always having a big smile on his face” and known as “a man fueled by a passion for running and helping others.”
Your donation to Run For the Fallen Maine will directly benefit the annual Captain Christopher S. Cash Memorial 5K, which awards college scholarships to outstanding students. I have participated as a runner in The Captain Christopher S. Cash Memorial 5K the past two years. The crowds of participants and volunteers that turn out at this event are truly inspiring. Your donation will help support this great 5K event and most importantly pay tribute to Capt. Christopher Cash. It would mean a lot to me, and the family of Captain Cash, if you can make a donation. Donating through this web site is simple, fast, and secure. Click the orange donate button at the top right corner of this page to get started.
There is a song with the lyrics “all gave some, and some gave all.” By running in this year’s Boston Marathon, I feel privileged to give “some” to honor the memory of Capt. Cash who gave his “all.” Many thanks for your support and generosity!
Please forward this to all who would consider donating and honoring Capt. Cash’s memory.
To learn more about Run For the Fallen Maine visit http://www.runforthefallenmaine.org. To learn more about The Captain Christopher S. Cash Memorial 5K visit http://www.runforcash.org. This year’s 5K event will be held June 23, 2012 at 8:30am in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.