Father Hopes 5K Run Teaches Lesson While Honoring Son
HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. – A mid-state father has organized a new Memorial Day 5K run to
honor his son, Josh Byers, who was killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
first annual Josh Byers 5K will be held at Cool Springs Monday morning.
years later, Byers father said his son's death still hasn't gotten any easier. Dr. Lloyd
Byers has a new routine just outside Hendersonville's Trinity Baptist Church
where he's Senior Pastor.
my little trip by here on my way to the church," he said near a memorial
for his son. "That's him. It just means so much to me."
Byers died in Operation Iraqi Freedom on July 23, 2003 when the vehicle he was
riding in hit a roadside bomb.
look back in the past we measure our time by before Josh was killed and after
Josh was killed," Dr. Byers said Sunday.
pain in the nearly nine years since his death, Byers' family hasn't forgotten.
such a smile and that's something I'll always remember – that big ole
smile," his father said.
because Josh's family hasn't let people forget.
wrote during his deployment were featured in the 2004 HBO Special "Last
Letters Home." Since then his father started writing as well a book titled
after Josh's last words, Keep Moving Forward.
to keep moving forward, no matter what we face," he said.
what worries his family the most is when people treat Memorial Day as nothing
more than an extra day off work.
it's good to get together with family and have a BBQ, but take a few moments
because that's what this weekend is all about," he said.
Every time he
stops at his son's monument he knows it may never get easier saying goodbye to
the person he can't forget.
not heal. There's a hurt. There's been a whole in my heart every day,"
annual Josh Byers 5K starts at 8
a.m. on Memorial Day at D1 Sports near Cool Springs Galleria.
benefits the Not Alone organization that helps soldiers deal with returning
from war through counseling.