Five years ago, …

… Spencer spent his 21st birthday doing some pre-deployment training. It was a running joke, of sorts, that he never got to do what he wanted to do on his birthday because it generally fell at an inconvenient time. Learner’s Permit to drive on the day he turned 14? Nope. We were out of town for Presidents’ Day weekend. Driver’s license on his 16th birthday? Nope. That was Sunday of the holiday weekend. Go out for a beer when he turned 21? Nope. He was on orders out of state.

We spent quite a bit of time getting Spencer ready for his deployment. I would find myself stopping in the middle of folding a shirt or packing a box and thinking about this little boy who somehow, quite without my permission, became a man. Frequently, Spencer and I would go out to lunch, and his cheeks would turn bright red when someone would thank him for his service. We would talk about the deployment, but we spent most of our time talking about what life would be like when he got back. At that time, he did not know exactly what he would do when he came home, but he was darn excited to come home and do it. And always, always, we talked about veterans. It’s so difficult to believe it’s been five years since we hugged that boy.

On August 6 this year, we will hold our 5th Annual Spencer C Duncan Make It Count 5K. This year’s event will be especially meaningful to us: It will be on the five-year anniversary of the largest single day loss of life for Americans in the Afghan war. Spencer and 29 other Americans, plus one military working dog, were killed when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. We are planning some really great things to make this day special. The usual awesomeness will happen: Joel Nichols will be our host; we still have an awesome course, the most AMAZING volunteers, plenty of hugs, and Stroud’s cinnamon rolls. In addition, we are working on adding a special event or two (more details to come as we solidify these plans). And always, ALWAYS we will talk about our veterans.

Five years ago we did not know how we were going to survive the devastation of losing Spencer. Your support of our run, and our veterans, has helped to make the bitter pill of grief a bit easier to swallow. For that, we are profoundly grateful. Thank you for making it count.

Check out the 5k page for more information. And please check back often for updates on exciting events to come. You can also follow us on Facebook and . We hope to see you August 6th!

~Megan Moore Duncan