The Kile G. West Memorial Race returns to Nacogdoches this month to continue the SFA Military Science program’s mission of establishing a scholarship for cadets.
This year’s race is scheduled for March 21 and will hopefully move the needle a little closer to the $10,000 mark needed to endow a scholarship in West’s name.
West was an SFA ROTC alumni assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood who was killed in Iraq on Memorial Day, May 28, 2007, when an improvised explosive device hit the vehicle he was in. Three other service members were killed in the explosion, and West was posthumously awarded the Army Bronze Star for Valor and the Purple Heart.
He was the first ROTC cadet from SFA killed overseas in the program’s more than 50 year history, said Sgt. 1st Class Levi Vernon, who is in charge of organizing the event this year.
The ROTC program obstacle course is also named for West and was dedicated to him in May 2019. A post office in Georgetown was named in his honor in 2010.
The race includes 5k and 10k routes, and doesn’t have to be run, though each competitor is timed.
About 100 people competed last year, with the proceeds from their entry fees being earmarked to establish a scholarship in West’s name.
“It was a good turn out for our first year,” Vernon said.
West’s mother, Nanette West, ran the inaugural race and has already registered to attend the 2020 event as well, Vernon said.
Members of his unit in Ft. Hood have a standing invitation to attend as well.
Registration costs $25 for the event, and the ROTC program has worked to spread the word about the race, getting it included on a number of running websites and posting flyers and information online.
Packet pick up will take place at the Military Science building at SFA, near William R. Johnson Coliseum and the ag pond, from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 20, and from 7:50 to 8:40 a.m. Saturday before the race.