PHOENIX — While thousands of people will line the streets of Tempe for the tenth annual Pat’s Run on Saturday, one Arizona State University student will be running his own race in Afghanistan.
Air Force Airman Alfred Trevino will run a 5k in honor of Pat Tillman along with fellow members of the 455EMDG/ER unit in Bagram, Afghanistan Saturday morning.
“I’m from Phoenix, and he’s a hometown hero,” Trevino said of Tillman. “To get to partake in a run in honor of his name, especially here in Afghanistan, is an amazing experience for me.”
Trevino said many of his fellow airmen will wear their full body armor during the race, and they’ll meet afterwards to discuss what Tillman means to them. Running Pat’s Run is especially emotional for Trevino, who said Tillman’s legacy was what inspired him to join the military.
“Hearing his story, and what he chose to do, he inspired me to become something bigger,” he said. “If you can turn away from millions and millions of dollars and put yourself on the line, that’s something I can only try to live up to.”
As a medic in the Air Force, Trevino is faced with the violence of war first hand every day.
“Now I know that all of the stuff we see on the media, it’s not fake,” he said. “To participate in a run for Pat Tillman, who actually gave his life in Afghanistan, it’s emotional for me.”
After his tour of duty in Afghanistan is over, Trevino plans to return to ASU to finish his undergraduate degree and hopes to work with the Pat Tillman Foundation.
His mother, Sylvia, said as a single mom, she always hoped that her son would have a positive role model to look up to.
“The fact that my son looks at Pat Tillman as one of his heroes, is a blessing, as Pat Tillman epitomizes the word hero in every sense,” she said. “I’m proud of my son for what he has done and who he has become. I’m glad that we both have this belief, and eventually this run, in common. Not only is Pat Tillman one of my heroes, but so is my son, Alfred Trevino.”