ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) -- More than 500 people are expected to walk or run in Sitrin's Stars and Stripes 5K this weekend. Many are participating in honor or in memory of a loved one that served the country, including a local woman whose son, Daniel Geary, was killed in combat.
Geary joined the marines after high school.
"Dan says mom you don't know what it's like to want to be part of something that's bigger than yourself," said Agnes Geary.
In March of 2009, the 22-year-old lance corporal was nearing the end of his tour in Afghanistan. He was killed when a police car exploded.
"He took a piece of shrapnel here that got the left side and a piece of shrapnel here that got the right side," said Geary.
In memory of her son, she's walking the 5K, raising money to help wounded warriors recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, physical injuries and amputations.
"I would like to think if my son made it home and if he needed something like this, it's there for him," she said.
For Agnes, crossing the finish line means helping make a better future for the people Daniel considered his family.
"By keeping his name in things in Sitrin run and walk, I feel like it's bigger than himself and it helps the men that he served with that he called his brothers," she said.
Last year Sitrin raised more than $70,000 dollars. This year, they hope to exceed $100,000.
"We treat the visible wounds and the invisible wounds because both are very important and the invisible ones you don't see. Those are the hardest for individuals to overcome," said Rosemary Bonacci, vice president of development and communications at Sitrin.
The event brings Sitrin, veterans and families together, working for a common cause.
"It's been an enlightening experience. It's been a very emotional experience, but prouder still to live in this country and there's a lot of work to do for these men and women and we're prepared to do it," said Bonacci.
"Everyone tells me how strong I am for going on with my life after losing my son. I think they're the ones with the strength," said Geary.
The event is at SUNY-IT on Oct. 5. Registration starts at 8 a.m. or you can sign up online here.
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