Local veterans and fallen heroes honored in 184-mile Island-wide run
Running and completing a marathon is quite an ambitious task for the average person, but Eva Casale is not the average person. On April 27 she began her journey of running seven marathons — a total of 184 miles — in seven days.
For the fourth year in a row, the Glen Cove resident toured the Island on foot for a week-long run called “Every Veteran Appreciated Week” to honor our troops, veterans and fallen heroes. Her initiative also supports services and programs for the national nonprofit organization Hope for the Warriors.
“We felt it was so important to remember all of those individuals who served our country, especially here on the Island.”
— Eva Casale
Casale led Team E.V.A. throughout the week and each marathon completed was focused on honoring local serviceman killed in action and was linked to their local communities. At the conclusion of the week, Team E.V.A. visited more than 106 points of honor and laid more than 250 flowers in memory of fallen soldiers. Eva and her team finished the run May 3 in Copiague with a closing ceremony at the Copiague Fire Department.
The week-long tour took along teams of runners to Farmingdale, Shelter Island, Sag Harbor, Calverton, Westhampton, Oyster Bay, Glen Cove, West Sayville and Medford.
“We are doing this to honor our fallen heroes on Long Island,” Cascale said at the April 27 kickoff event in Huntington. “Today is very exciting.”
The Glen Cove resident said during the week it is emotional as they visit a lot of memorials and resting places in the area.
“We felt it was so important to remember all of those individuals who served our country, especially here on the Island,” she explained.
Casale has been running marathons for more than 30 years and she said she has this gift to run long distances and thought it was important to use it for a good cause.
Suffolk County legislator and head of veterans committee Susan Berland (D-Dix Hills) thanked Eva for doing the week-long tour. “To do what she does, it is not only superhuman, but it also brings attention to the veterans we have in Suffolk County, how we have to take care of them and provide them with the services they need,” the legislator said. “She is an incredible woman and athlete.”
Tom Ronayne, head of the Suffolk County Veterans Services Agency, called Eva an inspiration.
“In my view, this is just a wonderful thing,” he said. “This reunites our communities and bring people together for a common purpose and looking forward to continuing this for many years to come.”
Casale said a highlight of her journey is meeting many Gold Star families on the Island and hearing their stories. It reminds her of what she is running for.
During the week-long run, Casale is joined by a crew of fellow runners and members of the community also join her throughout the journey.