Marcy, N.Y. - It's been 16 years in the making but Sunday morning a family from Marcy held a very moving tribute to their loved one who was killed in Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq in 2003.
Capt. George A. Wood was killed when his tank rolled over an explosive device in Iraq on November 20th, 2003 and on Sunday his brother led other members of his family in holding the 1st annual Capt. George A. Wood Memorial 5K Run/Walk in Marcy.
George Andrew Wood grew up in Marcy, played high school football at Notre Dame in Utica, then played in college, four years as a lineman at Cornell, graduating in 1993.
After graduating from Cornell, Wood went on to earn two two master's degrees and eventually served as an officer in the U.S. Army after 9/11, leading troops into Iraq where he was ultimately killed.
Wood left behind his wife of six years, Lisa, and their three year old daughter, Maria.
George Wood's younger brother, Michael Babula says it took him a long time, more than 15 years, to come with an appropriate way to honor the man he calls his hero.
Babula says George ran these very roads that this new race is being held on. He says after graduating Cornell, his brother was weighing in at around 320 pounds so he needed to get down in weight so he could go into the Army, "As an offense tackle for Cornell he was about 320 into commission in the Army he was about 210 so you're talking about 110 pounds and he did it on these very roads."
Babula says the large turnout for this first annual event is a moving tribute to his brother, "He's an example of how to be a good person, a good American, a good man, a good brother for sure, a good husband, a good friend and a good father."