Service-members and veterans are natural leaders. When they return home to our local communities, these men and women take their developed skills and convert them into real-time proficiencies and characteristics that promote leadership, civic responsibility, and community engagement.
I would like to introduce you to Marine Myles Kerr. This young solider chose to participate with his fellow servicemen in the annual Jeff Drenth Memorial 5K Charity run. This run occurs in the town of Charlevoix, Michigan. Hundreds of people come from all over the state to take part in this race.
Myles Kerr and his comrades decided to run in the race to promote team building and show their comradery as a unit. Lance Corporal Kerr was on a seven day leave from Camp Pendleton located in California. Proud of his service, the 19-year old solider attended the race clothed in his uniform, boots, and full gear. He met up with his fellow marines and they readied themselves for the charity run.
The race began, and Corporal Kerr started his run. Little did he know that another young racer would desperately need his help. A young boy named Boden Fuchs was also running in the charity 5K. He accompanied his family and they entered the race. Boden was there for fun and family.
Kerr and his fellow marines were making great time. As he sprinted along the route, he quickly took notice of a young boy who was also running the race. The boy was alone and looked a little unsure of himself. Trusting his instincts, Corporal Kerr took action. He did not hesitate and quickly slowed his run to speak to the boy.
“Are you alright”, he asked nine-year old Fuchs, slowing to a jog beside the boy. Boden immediately responded, “Will you run with me?” Kerr was surprised but did not falter. He slowed his paced and jogged, side-by-side with the young boy.
It was clear he was upset. His face was clenched, his little brow furrowed, and worry was etched all over his face. Kerr knew at that moment, running next this young jogger was exactly where he needed to be.
Boden had become separated from his family during the beginning of the race. The only one who noticed was Kerr. Suddenly, winning the race and getting a time that would reserve him bragging rights didn’t seem so important. With Kerr encouraging and cheering him on, young Boden Fuchs crossed the finish line approximately 35 minutes after he met up with the solider.
The moment they crossed the finish line together, Kerr amplified his kindness by searching the crowds for the boys lost parents. Reunified, the family celebrated with their son, showering the marine with gratitude. They were so thankful they purchased the marine a $100 gift certificate to a local restaurant.
Kerr didn’t help for praise, or accolades. He helped because he saw someone in need. The local media converged on a photograph and Kerr and Fuchs running together and it quickly became a sensation. People from all over the nation praised Kerr for his kindness and his quick action. He was labeled a hero and a role model, to which Kerr responded, “I don’t think I’m a hero. I was just trying to help.”