Miles for Mills | Why do you run? | An Air Force Spouse’s Story

One of the Travis Mills Foundation Team’s favorite aspects of the Miles for Mills Memorial Day 5K is the stories of runners, walkers and handcyclists about why they run this particular race.

Kennebunk, ME, resident and Air Force spouse Amanda Petersen runs to honor those who have gone before her and paid the ultimate sacrifice along with those who are currently serving our great nation. Her husband, Patrick, has served 16 years.

“I show up because these men and women show up for us,” she said. “There’s men and women serving who don’t even know I exist, but it doesn’t even matter.”

Amanda has been walking the Miles for Mills Memorial Day 5K, presented by New Balance Foundation, since her sister-in-law had invited her years back. Knowing the story of U.S. Army SSG (Ret.) Travis Mills she knew that she had to be part of the race in some way.

“Even through COVID, we did not miss a walk – we did it virtually. We were so thrilled that last year we got to go to Brunswick and do it.”

It is important for Amanda and her family to do the walk together, so her children, Cadence – 14, Jaidon – 11, and Nya – 3, grow up knowing the importance of military service and sacrifice.

“As long as they are living under my roof, they will be doing this walk because they need to understand that freedom isn’t free, and this is the least we can do. I hope that they continue to support [Travis’] foundation even when they are adults.”

While Amanda said she can run the race, she prefers to walk the Miles for Mills Memorial Day 5K instead to full immerse herself into the experience.

“I show up every year to pay my respects to those we’ve lost and to pay my respects to those who’ve come back injured – even those who’ve served and come back fine, like my husband. As a civilian and as a military wife, there’s only so much I can do and this is what I can do.”

The 12th annual Miles for Mills Memorial Day 5K, presented by New Balance Foundation, will be held Sunday, May 28 at Brunswick Landing, the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. The race will begin at 9 a.m. and end at 11 a.m. Registration is $30 per person and registrants receive a free t-shirt if signed up by April 1 (while supplies last). Registration is $35 after April 1.

About the Travis Mills Foundation

The Travis Mills Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports post-911 veterans who experienced life changing injuries while in service to our country. The Travis Mills Foundation Veterans Retreat offers our nation’s recalibrated veterans and their families a week-long, barrier free, all-expenses-paid experience at its world-class retreat in the Belgrade Lakes Region of Maine. It offers various programs that help these brave men and women overcome physical and emotional obstacles, strengthen their families, and provide well-deserved rest and relaxation. The Foundation also offers the Warrior PATHH Program (Progressive & Alternative Training for Helping Heroes) for combat veterans and first responders, the nation’s first of its kind program designed to cultivate and facilitate post-traumatic growth.  Learn more >>>