Mike Polansky, director of the Greater Long Island Running Club said, "It is our privilege to let everyone know that eight GLIRC members have been deployed in Afghanistan in 2009 - making the world a little bit safer for the rest of us. We received the following communication from our own Master Sergeant Jill Butler a few days ago, and wanted to share her message and photo with everyone."
Master Sergeant Ed Mallahan of Oyster Bay is one of those runners.
Mr. Polansky said, "We wish Jill, Eric, Ed, Dave, Tim, Tom, Ralph, and Kerry all the best, thank them for their service to our country, and pray for their safe return."
Master Sergeant Butler's letter began, "Greetings Mike and all fellow GLIRC members!
"Maybe you've noticed a few missing faces these last few months? We'd like to say hello to you from cold and snowy Bagram Air Field (AF) Afghanistan! A few of us will be back home on Long Island the beginning of March and the rest of us won't be back until May. Although February is the month for snow we've had a few sunny days and we try to keep warm running the 8 mile perimeter road. On days where the weather makes the road impassable we stick to the treadmills in the gym!
"We have a couple of 5Ks on base coming up in the month of March; the PFC Brandon J. Wadman 5K Memorial Run (on the 6th of March) and the Task Force Champion St. Patrick's Day 5K Run (on the 20th of March.) Tom and myself (Jill) will be participating in these as we'll be the only two GLIRC members left behind.
"I hope everyone is keeping warm back on Long Island! I can't wait to get back stateside and sign up for my first run with my fellow GLIRC friends!
"See you soon, stay safe and keep running," and the letter is signed:
Master Sergeant Jill Butler;
Master Sergeant Eric Carver; Master Sergeant Ed Mallahan;
Master Sergeant Dave Graham;
Technical Sergeant Tim Malloy;
Technical Sergeant (and new member) Tom Colleran;
Staff Sergeant (and new member) Ralph Weyant; and Major Kerry Murphy.