U.S. Army soldier will run Boilermaker in full army gear


U.S. Army Private Frank Rizzuti of New Hartford left Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri early Tuesday afternoon, but didn't land at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport until 2:00 A.M. Wednesday morning.

Despite the delay, his mom, Lisa Rizzuti-Leone, was there with a big welcome home sign when he crossed through the gates, "Oh I was shocked. I go here we go again. It's not the first time I'm coming home, so it shouldn't be that big of a deal, but there's always a huge welcoming party every time I come home."

But this time seemed to be extra special. One, because it's Boilermaker week , and two, because his mom is in the fight of her life, battling breast cancer.

Lisa told News Channel 2 Thursday morning, her cancer was caught early, "Today and tomorrow are my last two treatments for radiation, and he came with me yesterday, and of course I bragged about him at radiation. I'm like, my son, my son, my son....and they all wanted to meet him."

Lisa was ecstatic to hear her son was coming home to run the Boilermaker, but when he informed her he was going to run it this year in his full army gear, she says she just had to tell everyone, including sending an email to News Channel 2, "When I said this to him, he says no, the Army is humble. He said, we need to be humble mom. And I said I am extremely humble, but humble to the fact that I am exteremly proud of what he is doing. I can't pick that vest up, and he is going to run with it on Sunday."

Private Rizzuti says the gear he wears on a daily basis in the army weighs about 30 pounds and he doesn't think he'll have any problems running with it on for 9.3 miles come Sunday, "I've done it before, farther, different terrain obviously through trails and backwoods and what not. On the street it might be a little bit different."

The streets of Utica will no doubt be filled with loud applause as he passes by and his mother hopes to be there at the finish line as he crosses it, "I want the spectators to realize that when he crosses the finish line and I hand him that American Flag it is for a purpose. I said you should be proud of what you do as well. He says I am proud of what I do, but I don't like making a big deal of it."

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