CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - “We did it guys! So I’m now sitting at one thousand two miles and I ran within all 50 states and Puerto Rico and The Navajo Nation,” Powers said in video to her Facebook page, Cathy Powers, Running Fir Wreaths.
Powers’s son, Senior Airman Bryce Powers, died from injuries sustained in a terrible crash while in service to our country.
Cathy struggled with her son’s death. She found herself in a very dark place.
But in December of last year, something changed.
She saw another wreath at Bryce’s headstone in Arlington National Cemetery. This was the third year she’d seen one. She thought it was a Christmas decoration. Then she learned of the mission behind the non-profit that lays close to two million wreaths a year, Wreaths Across America.
That’s when Powers set a very big goal. She wanted to run 1,000 miles across all 50 states, and raise support to place 7,777 wreaths to lay at the headstones of our fallen.
The number isn’t just any number. But the exact number of days Bryce was alive. She wanted to use that number for something positive.
“For me as soon as I started and meeting veterans on my journey. Hearing veterans, as they looked into my eyes, say, ‘Thank you for doing this for us’, I knew this wasn’t just about my healing, it was actually helping others heal as well,” Powers said from the Maine headquarters of Wreaths Across America Friday.
They became her motivation to keep running. But could she reach that goal?
"So when I found out 100 percent of my wreaths have come in I was overjoyed. I immediately thought of my husband, Jim, a veteran. He said, “You honor those veterans and the wreaths will come,” she told me.
When I asked her if she felt Bryce’s presence on this journey she shared something she hadn’t told anyone but her husband. It’s something she discovered on the ground as she finished her one-thousandth mile.
“My last step I stopped, hit my watch to quit recording my run, and I looked down. And there was an ammo bullet, on the street in Mint Hill! Right there! A brand new perfect bullet. I was just blown away," she said of the experience.
For good reason. Her son Bryce was in Munitions in the Air Force!
You can still support her mission and the work of Wreaths Across America.
Thank you Cathy for all your doing!