National Guard, family members beat feet for breast cancer

by Sgt. Anna-Marie Ward
JFHQ-WV Public Affairs Office

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (May 4, 2013) -- “Cancer sucks!” “We love Sue Hall” and other colorful posters stood out among the many tents set up on the West Virginia Capitol Complex grounds Saturday morning during the 13th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Sue, mother of Spc. Michael Hall, 3664th Transportation Company, WV Army National Guard, was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. In a show of support, Hall’s sister, Leslie Pritt, decided to organize a team for the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure in Charleston. She asked Hall for his assistance, and he asked the leadership at his unit. That’s when the team, Sue’s Breast Friends, took off.

“I called [Michael] up and said ‘let’s make a team,’” Pritt said.

Eighty plus members later, Sue’s team became the second place “friends and family” team. Hall noted that the ballooning of the team with his Guard “family” is another example of military members coming together for each other.

“We got a lot of support from the 3664th,” Hall said. “It’s about unity. It’s a brother and sisterhood. They see one struggling and everyone joins in.”

That brotherhood mentality was echoed by Hall’s leadership, who gave the go-ahead for other unit members to join in the 5K fun.

“Hall came to us last month [about the race],” said Capt. Jessica Lantz, commander, 3664th Maint. Co. “We passed around the info to our members and let them know they could sign up … join in the run.”

“We are a family,” said 1st Sgt. Mike Masey, 3664th Maintenance Co. first sergeant. “Especially in the Maintenance Company … we’re real close.”

Lantz added that it is also important for others to see military members supporting each other and local events. “It shows support for the families,” she said. “It’s also good to get out in the communities.”

In addition to supporting one another, Soldiers were able to kick off their drill weekend with some physical activity. “This is a physical fitness event!” Masey said “This allows us to promote that [fitness] and have a good time.”