The first RED 5K Run hosted by the Student Veterans Resource Center united USD and the Vermillion community for one purpose: to remember everyone deployed.
The run had about 60 participants. The route began at Prentis Park and stretched around Cherry, Plum, University and Main streets.
The money raised will be used to send deployed USD students and faculty with care packages filled with snacks, letters and USD “swag.”
Michelle Pliska, SVRC coordinator and counselor, said their goal of $500 was met.
“Anything we raise beyond $500 will be going into an emergency relief fund that the veterans’ club has established,” she said.
Pliska said there’s currently one USD faculty member on deployment, but about five students and faculty will be deployed next fall. She said she hopes RED Run will be an annual event.
“They’re (troops) doing a difficult job,” she said. “(RED Run) is to remember those on deployments so they can still have the connection back home.”
Second-year student and Navy veteran Krisztian Fasi said supporting troops overseas is important.
“I know inherently, the disconnect is that people on active duty… we all volunteer to go into the military, we all get paid, but it’s that connection from this country toward the individuals who are deployed saying, ‘Hey, we know that you’re there,'” he said. “It allows them to open something and go, ‘Oh, somebody or some group thought of me.’ It reminds them that they’re one step closer to home.”