Run For The Fallen Reaches Halfway Mark At Falls City

Follow the run through southeast Nebraska on a live stream HERE.

FALLS CITY – Falls City hosted an evening ceremony for the national Run for the Fallen at halfway mark of its trek across the United States  voicing the names of 20,000 service men and women who have died in the war on terror.

George Lutz, who organized the first run after his son Tony was killed in action, said reading the names of fallen heroes at mile markers along the 6,000-mile run and at evening ceremonies makes a statement about remembrance.

Members of the national run team read names.

Honor flags were presented to:

  • Carl Marrs, who joined the Marines after graduating from Falls City High School. He died at the age of 19 in Vietnam;
  •  Gary Dunn, an Army Vietnam veteran,
  • Adrian Robles, who died in Afghanistan serving with the Marines,
  • and Army specialist Matthew Walker, who died in Afghanistan.

Mayor Jerry Oliver gave the welcome and Pastor Andrew Chavanak the opening prayer. Anne Crofford sang the National Anthem.

Carl Robert Marrs

Carl Robert Marrs was born January 4, 1944 in Falls City, Nebraska.

He went to school and graduated from Falls City.    He enlisted in the Marine Corps and served during the Vietnam War.

He had the rank of Private.

His specialty was Machine Gunner.  He served with the 3rd Marine Division, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, K Company.

Private Marrs experienced a serious casualty which ultimately resulted in the loss of his life on July 18, in or around Helicopter Valley Song Ngan Valley, South Vietnam, Quang Tri Province.  He was 19 years old.

He is buried at Steele Cemetery, Falls City, Nebraska.  He is honored on the Vietnam Veterans Wall on Panel 09e, Line 34.

Medals he earned were the National Defense Service Medal, Purple Heart, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Combat Action Ribbon.

He left behind a son, Robert Cook, who never got to meet his dad.

Honor and Remember Nebraska Chapter is pleased to present this flag sponsored by Honor and Remember Nebraska Chapter to the family of Private Carl Robert Marrs.

Robert J. Yllescas

Robert J. Yllescas was born on October 7, 1977 to Otto Yllescas and Barb Vorthmann in Guatemala.

He has a brother Christopher, two sisters Jennifer and Natalie.

He spent his first 18 years in Guatemala and graduated from Inter-American School in Quezaltenango, Guatemala in 1996.

He then received a BS in Agronomy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2001.

When he enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he joined ROTC without hesitation. On July 29, 2000 he was united in marriage to Dena at the United Methodist Church in Osceola, Nebraska. To this union two daughters, Julia Faye and Eva Grace, were born.

In May of 2001 Robert was commissioned into the United States Army.

He then attended Armor Officer Basic Course at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

He was then stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas and was deployed to Iraq from 2003 to 2004. He was deployed to Iraq again in 2005 to 2006. In 2006 he attended the Captains Career Course and in 2007 also attended Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia. Rob took command of Bravo Troop 6-4 CAV 3rd Brigade 1st Infantry Division in May of 2008. On July 3 they were deployed for Afghanistan.

Capt. Yllescas immediately garnered the respect of his Troops,” 1st Lt. Joseph T. Mazzochi Blackfoot Troop, 6-4 CAV, TF Raider, said.  When Blackfoot Troop arrived at Combat Outpost Keating, they had very little to work with in bridging the gap between them and the locals,”   He brought together the Soldiers of Black Troop to build a building and dedicate it to the area, so we can all come together as a symbol of unity.” “He was more of a visionary than a leader

On October 28, 2008, Robert was injured by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device).

On October 31 he was transferred to Landstuhl, Germany for medical treatment. On November 4 he was flown to Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.   Robert struggled for more than a month to recover from an explosion that took both of his legs and left him with head injuries.  That month was speckled with moments of hope for recovery, a hand squeeze returned, fluttering eyes—and well-wishers nationwide logging in more than 70,000 times to follow his progress and lend their support on a family-run blog.

He never regained consciousness.

President Bush put on a mask and visited Robert and his family on November 10, 2008 at Bethesda Naval Medical Center and awarded Robert the Purple Heart.

After two tours in Iraq, this was to be the United States Army captain’s third and final deployment.    He was 31 years old.

He enjoyed his daughters and family, Husker football, his truck, boating and wakeboarding.  Friends and family speak of a man who was at home everywhere he went, and made everyone feel at home with him.  He was a tremendous human being; he cared more about people than himself.

Honor and Remember Nebraska Chapter is pleased to present this flag sponsored by Prudential to the family of Captain Robert J. Yllescas.

 

Gary Wayne Dunn

Gary Wayne Dunn was born on October 5, 1946.

He enlisted in the Army via regular Military.   He served during the Vietnam War.

His enlistment date was August 1, 1967.  Gary had the rank of Specialist 5.  His specialty was General Vehicle Repairman.   He served with the 25th Infantry Division, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry, C Company.

Specialist 5 Dunn experienced a serious casualty which resulted in the loss of life on May 5, 1968 in or around South Vietnam, Hua Nghia province.  He died of wounds from artillery rocket mortar.

He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.  He is honored on the Vietnam Wall on Panel 64E, Line 4.

Honor and Remember Nebraska Chapter is pleased to present this flag sponsored by F&M Bank, Frontier Bank, Armbrusters Motor Company, Hullmans Ford, Farm and City Supply, True Value, American Legion Riders Chapter 102, Amber Holle, and Betty Massey to the family of SP5 Gary W. Dunn.

Matthew H. Walker

Matthew H. Walker was born on October 16, 1993 to Richard and Heather Wooderson at Camp LeJune, North Carolina.

He has two older sisters, Brittany and April, and a younger brother Camden.

As a young boy, he attended what is now Tower Grove Christian Academy.  He welcomed a move to Jefferson County so he could play football.  The head football coach there said Walker initially wasn’t very athletic but he kept at it until he was ultimately a team captain for the Eagles. He often played against guys twice his size.  Matt always fought his hardest.  He graduated from Grandview High School in Hillsboro, Missouri in 2012.

Matthew started talking to a recruiter when he was a high school sophomore and signed up for the Army early in his senior year.

His father and grandfather also served in the military.  He wanted to be on the front lines, he wanted to experience it fully.  He wanted to serve his country and that’s what he did.

Matthew was with the 1st Battalion, Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campell, KY.  He was killed by a rocket propelled grenade in Pakitka, Afghanistan on June 5, 2014.  He was 20 years old.

Matthew was a reliable and dependable soldier.  He was consistently asked for by name to be the machine gunner in the lead vehicle by the special forces teams with whom he served.

Matthew Walker sacrificed everything for the safety of his fellow soldiers, the security of our nation and the hope and dreams of people everywhere for a better place to live.

Honor and Remember NE Chapter is pleased to present this flag sponsored by Spartan Nash.

Adrian Robles

Adrian Robles was born on December 8, 1986 to Cesar and Yolanda Robles in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.   He has an older sister, Beatriz.

He graduated from Scottsbluff High School in 2005.

He grew up with a desire to make a difference for himself and his country, and had been influenced greatly by his grandfather, who often told tales of his service in WWII.

He knew he wanted to be a Marine before he graduated high school.  When he was a senior he went out for the soccer team, even though he’d barely played the sport before.

His soccer coach said Adrian told him he wanted to play because the conditioning would give him a head start on what the Marines would expect from him.  He had to learn some of the skills and became a goal keeper.

He was always willing to learn and very enthusiastic.  He was also involved in the computer club

Adrian enlisted in the Marines right out of high school and proved to be an exemplary Marine, receiving three good conduct medals.

He was stationed with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1 Marine Expeditionary Force at Twenty Nine Palms, California and served a combat tour in Iraq before deploying to Afghanistan.

The unit was conduction security operations and training police and soldiers.  Adrian was killed on October 22, 2008 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.  He was 21 years old.

He was just a few weeks away from coming home.

Adrian was remembered because of his positive attitude and an electric smile.  He was a goof ball, always telling stories that could make you laugh no matter how mad you were.

He was a planner, he already had plans to form a construction business when he got home.

Honor and Remember Nebraska Chapter is pleased to present this flag sponsored by Carlos and Silvia Valdez To the family of Corporal Adrian Robles.

 

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