Matt Garbarino to Run 160-Miles across Michigan to Honor Fallen PoliceTop Stories

June 05, 2018 06:42
Matt Garbarino to Run 160-Miles across Michigan to Honor Fallen Police

(Image source from: Holland Setinel)

Kent County Reserve Deputy Matt Garbarino to honor the officers lost in the line of duty is making a 160-mile trek across Michigan.

For four days, he will be running cross the state carrying a Thin Blue Line Flag, black with one blue stripe that represents the courage officers has in the face of protecting society and sacrifices made by those who died in the line of duty.

The run began in the morning of Monday, June 4 at Michigan Fallen Heroes memorial adjacent to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office in Pontiac, chiefly to raise awareness for the 580 line of duty deaths in Michigan since record keeping began.

"This run isn't about me, it's about those in uniform and those who can't be here now," Garbarino said. "I can’t tell you how humbled I am by the support of the families who have reached out. Sure, I'll be hurting at some points, but that pales in comparison to what some families go through. That's what I'll be thinking about while running."

It is as well a fundraiser for the Michigan Concerns of Police Survivors Organization that provides assistance to families of fallen officers killed in the line of duty.

A GoFundMe page has raise more than $5,000over the past year.

For the first 13.1 miles of the run Garbarino was joined by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, which ends at the Protector Monument at Ottawa County Sheriff's Office in West Olive and for the rest of run he will be escorted by Michigan State Police Officers and from other countries as well by bike, car or a motorcycle.

"There's all these things we take for granted, the opportunities, our lives, our families, it's a very thin line between the types of lives we want and what it would be like without our law enforcement officers," Calley said. "I just want to say thank you for your sacrifice."

Garbarino had been planning for a run more than a year. He runs in various endurance races every year carrying the Thin Blue Line flag. Some of his runs include First Third River Bank Run in Grand Rapids. The response he received from spectators and fellow officers inspired him to plan the solo run across Michigan.

"A lot of people don’t know what this flag means, it’s opened up a lot of conversation. I wanted to take it to a larger, statewide scale," Garbarino said.

"I just turned 50 this year and you think, you want to make an impact before you leave. It’s important to do things for yourself, your career, but it's also important to do things for someone else. All the end of the day, that's what it’s all about."

By Sowmya Sangam

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Matt Garbarino  Fallen police  Michigan  GoFundMe