There are thousands of individual stories that can be told about why runners compete in the Missoula Marathon. Here's one that warmed our hearts.

Montana will be the 50th state in which a man named George Kraehe seeks to complete a marathon.  This quest began 12 years ago for George in memory of a fallen member of the Armed Forces. It all should come to fruition this Sunday, July 15, at the Missoula Marathon.

Mr. Kraehe runs on behalf of Team TAPS,  a group of nationwide supporters who participate in endurance events to honor and remember our fallen heroes, wearing a hero's photo during the Marathon. On Sunday, George will meet up with the family of the serviceman he is honoring, Heather Sipes-Tucker of Belgrade, the surviving wife of Army Captain Jeremiah Sipes. Heather will also be competing in the half-marathon portion of the weekend's events.

TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, provides compassion for the families of America's fallen military heroes and has offered support to more than 80,000 surviving family members of our fallen military (yours truly included) since 1994.

As a Gold Star dad, I want to say thank you, George Kraehe, for coming to Missoula and running with such purpose. I am honored that you will be here, representing me and the thousands like me. God bless. I would also like to thank Christine Fuentes, Media Relations, TAPS, for letting us know about Mr. Kraehe's worthwhile endeavor.

Denny