Tunnel to Towers 5K in Bluffton honors veterans

Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 2:29 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2022 at 2:32 PM EST
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BLUFFTON, S.C. (WTOC) - Veterans Day is Friday, but paying tribute to our veterans doesn’t have to end there.

In Bluffton, organizers of a 5K race want their event to become the community’s way to honor those who served in our armed forces.

Candice Taylor brought a 5K to Bluffton to honor bravery, service and sacrifice. She timed it so her new hometown could do the same.

“We’re doing it on Veterans Day and we’re remembering all those who served,” Taylor said.

The national Tunnel to Towers runs were started to honor the lives of first responders who were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks. But they now support veteran causes, raising money to build custom smart homes for those severely wounded in combat.

Taylor has scheduled the local run on the second weekend of November, hoping it will become Bluffton’s way of coming together to recognize Veterans Day.

“It’s a continual honor, especially in the Lowcountry with Paris Island bring right here and the local military to continue to honor the and have a presence, it’s a dream,” Taylor said.

Robert Fulton served 16 years in the Army and signed up to volunteer at the local T2T run as soon as he heard about it.

“I think it’s great, awesome, that Bluffton decided to run this race and I’m going to be party of it every year,” Fulton said.

And he’s going to help his community give back to veterans the way he does as a Tunnel to Towers donor.

“It has a very special place in my heart. After being in the military and going through the training I went through and working for the people of the United States of America, it has a very special place in my heart.”

Saturday’s event inside the Hampton Hall neighborhood will feature veterans in its opening ceremony and the race and include an ROTC color guard. And Bluffton’s second annual Tunnel to Towers run is already shaping up to be bigger than the first.

“From last year to this year, we’re already up over 100 runners. We’re getting a lot more community from the Savannah area all the way up to Beaufort, so it’s really getting into the whole Lowcountry. And it’s just an honor obviously to always honor our veterans on Veterans Weekend, but then tie in the first responders and those who continue to honor our country.”

Proceeds from Tunnel to Towers Bluffton go to the national Tunnel to Towers Foundation to build those custom homes for catastrophically wounded veterans.