Wives Run Extra Mile for Soldiers; Women Honor Husbands in Iraq at Rerouted Army Ten-Miler Race

Article excerpt

Byline: Keyonna Summers, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Gabrielle Winton drove 10 hours to the District from Fort Stewart, Ga., to run 10 miles to support her soldier husband, who's in Iraq.

The bubbly thirtysomething mother of three surprised herself by accomplishing her task and by going the extra mile, literally.

"My husband has said on more than one occasion that he's proud of me," Mrs. Winton said of her husband, Maj. Doug Winton, 36, who was deployed in January. "It's a sign for him that everything is going well - we're keeping the home fires burning."

Mrs. Winton and more than 40 other women with the 3rd Infantry Division Army spouses, ran more than 11 miles to honor their husbands in the 21st annual "Army Ten-Miler" race yesterday.

The wives, ranging in age from their early 20s to mid-40s, ran for their husbands who were deployed to Iraq from the Georgia-based division within the past year and could not participate in the race.

Among the wives were five women whose husbands were killed in the war.

Some wives flew to the District, while others came here with a car caravan. But the wives said the 600-mile journey from Georgia to run the 11-mile race for their husbands serving their country thousands of miles away was well worth the effort.

"It recognizes that there still are soldiers deployed," said team leader Jacqui Coffman, 37, whose husband, Maj. Ross Coffman, was deployed in January. "It enables us to honor the soldiers that are still there and to run for the soldiers who won't be coming back."

The wives, along with the other runners, ended up running an extra mile, after race organizers rerouted the course when a suspicious package was found under the 14th Street Bridge. …