Maine Veteran Answers: “Why Do You Run?”

Michael Wall, veteran of the Maine National Guard.

As the Travis Mills Foundation gears up for the 11th annual Miles for Mills 5K Presented by New Balance Foundation, we’re asking this important question: “Why do you run?”

While the event, held on a new day and location this year – 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 29, 2022, at Brunswick Landing, the former Brunswick Naval Air Station – will include much celebration, the Foundation wants to remind participants why the event is held on Memorial Day weekend – to remember the servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. 

Many supporters responded when posed with the question, “Why do you run?” including Michael Wall of Augusta, Maine, who is participating in the event with fellow soldiers/veterans of the 133rd Engineer Battalion of Maine National Guard and its subordinate companies. 

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Military Career

He retired from the military in August 2021 with 30 years of service enlisting in the Active Component Army during Desert Storm in 1991. He retired as a Master Sergeant with his last assignment as the Maine Army National Guard Quota Source Manager.

“My job was to program all soldiers within the Maine Army National Guard, Officers, Warrant Officers, and Enlisted personnel for all of their military educational requirements to include Military Occupational Specialty reclassification, courses that facilitate programs to higher ranks and specialty schools,” he said, adding that he also secured training seats in military educational institutes throughout the country and managed the budget for the program.

Additionally, Michael served in Afghanistan in 2008-2009 for almost 18 months, in the same area where U.S. Army SSG (Ret.) Travis Mills served, just at different times. He has had the opportunity to meet Travis at various events in-country.

“The whole group is appreciative of Mr. Mills’s extreme sacrifice for our country and the tremendous inspiration that helps so many people that he and his organization touches,” Michael said. 

It was a fellow E-8 who gathered the four-person group from the Maine National Guard – two veterans and two current soldiers – to participate in the event.

Some of the group was even stationed at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, including Michael, from September 2014 to January 2017, serving as the Operations NCO for the 133rd Engineer Battalion.

Brunswick Naval Air Station

“I enjoyed working on what was formerly the Brunswick Naval Air Station because there is a great deal of interesting history regarding the base and its former relationship with the Brunswick Community,” Michael said. “It was also very interesting to watch it become progressively revitalized with different businesses and places of employment/education while I was working there. The downtown area is nice too, especially during summer.”

Michael is eager to reunite with the current and former soldiers for the Miles for Mills 5K.

“I think it will be great to get together and participate in this event as a group,” he said. “We always have enjoyed each other’s company and professionalism. We all are fitness enthusiasts so this should be a good deal of fun for a great cause.”