The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

May 25, 2013

Enid-Qatar tie in 2014: Fort Sill gold star wife wants to hold annual run while on deployment

ENID, Okla. — If all goes as planned, American service members stationed in Qatar next year will join, in spirit, runners at Enid’s fifth-annual Red Dirt Run of Honor.

The sister-run is only in the hopeful stage at this point, but Fort Sill-based Chief Warrant Officer Karen Beattie wants to see it happen.

“We’ll be over there for nine months, so we should still be there right around the time next year,” Beattie said. “I’m going to work with my command and see if we can run a race there in Qatar.”

Qatar is a Middle Eastern country located on the Arabian Peninsula. Beattie is a maintenance technician for a Patriot Missile System unit that will deploy there in a few months.

Beattie was in Enid Saturday to participate in the Red Dirt Run of Honor, which had 5K and half-marathon portions. Just like everyone else in the race, she ran in remembrance of a fallen service member. She ran to remember her husband.

Sgt. 1st Class Clifford Beattie was killed May 22, 2011, in Baghdad.

“The day my husband died, we ran a race for the fallen. We both ran it,” Beattie said. “He didn’t know that later that night, he’d join that group.”

It’s not uncommon for troops to run in timed events while overseas, Beattie said.

“They do a lot of runs. It seems like when I was in Iraq, we did a lot of runs,” she said.

If Beattie succeeds in getting the Qatar run going, local organizer Elaine Johns will ship race shirts and dog tags etched with the names of those the runners are memorializing.

When the results come in, Johns will include the Qatar runners’ times with those running in Enid.

The more than 300 runners in Enid on Saturday, each ran in remembrance of a fallen Oklahoma service member. Those names also are on the Woodring Wall of Honor, a project that has filled up nearly seven large square-cut stones that stand along the route the runners took.

On Memorial Day Monday, the nonprofit group managing the Wall of Honor will unveil the new names appearing on the statue. Today, though, the stone remains covered.

“We feel like the veterans deserve more than just slapping a name on the wall and putting it up on the stone,” Johns said. “So the stone stays covered until Memorial Day services, then we unveil the stone ceremoniously.”

One of the new names on the stone is Clifford Beattie. Karen won’t be in Enid Monday for the unveiling, so Johns let her see it early. It was the first memorial for her husband she’s seen in person.

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