WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Army Specialist Antonio Moore’s family is making sure that he is never forgotten.
“Every day I can always see his smile, every day I always hear those words that he said- ‘stand tall mom’ when he left,’” said Spec. Moore’s mother Crystal Vereen.
It’s been nearly two years since Moore passed away in the line of duty in Syria, but his family says, his memory is still alive.
“When you think of him and hear his name, you’re going to think of his smile, and his joy, and just the wonderful man that he was,” said Vereen.
So when Donna Schultz, a runner from Virginia, saw his motorcade through Wilmington in January of 2020, she reached out to Crystal Vereen about running the Historic Half- Marathon in his honor. She gladly agreed.
“After about eight to ten miles I was just ready to give it up. I looked down at Toni’s picture, and just thought about what Toni gave for this country,” said Schultz. “And I kept thinking just one foot in front of the other. He did it, you can do it, you got this.”
Schultz was decked out in red, white, and blue, and holding the American flag until the moment she crossed the finish line. She has been running for over a decade for America’s fallen heroes, and proudly wore Spec. Antonio Moore’s picture pinned onto her shirt.
“As long as there are heroes out there and as long as my feet will keep carrying me, whether it’s running, walking, whatever I’ve gotta do, I’m gonna keep doing it,” she said.
A little over 13 miles on foot, finishing the race with a long-awaited embrace with Moore’s mother and family, as they waited with signs and flowers. His mother says what Schultz did helps keep his memory alive, and reassure her that he hasn’t been forgotten.
“Sometimes you feel forgotten, or you feel like he’s been forgotten, so when people step out and be like, hey, you know, I didn’t forget. I just wanna reach out, it does a lot,” said Crystal Vereen.
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