Stump run honors Osan Airman
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Rain drizzled slowly over the 200 runners gathered at the fitness center May 30, 2015, at Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea. Although the fitness center typically serves as a focal point for physical training, these participants rallied together at this particular moment in order to exercise for one specific reason-- the remembrance of Senior Airman Corey Stump.
Stump served in the 303d Intelligence Squadron here. On May 29, 2014, only 23-years old, Stump lost his life in a tragic hiking accident.
At the run, his peers said they remembered him as a role model and hard worker. Due to his dedication, he excelled in all aspects of his life and career. The day marked the Second Annual Stump Run. Runners gathered in honor of Stump by participating in either a 5K or half marathon. Corey's friends and family also held shadow runs in California, Illinois, Maryland, and Hawaii.
Staff Sgt. Suzanne Adams, a friend of Corey, used the memorial run to complete her first half marathon.
"Every time I wanted to quit I could hear Stump's voice in my head telling me, 'Stop complaining. It's good for you.' It gave me the strength to keep going," said Adams.
After the race, friends gathered to remember Stump. Tech. Sgt. Jessica Roper reflected on her time with Corey and the importance of the Stump Run.
"I had the pleasure of being able to work with Corey during his time in the 303rd IS," said Roper. "Corey was known for his intensity and for always striving to be the very best at everything he touched. I think running every year in his honor is a great way to remember and embody the value of excellence in all we do that he clearly held close to his heart. It's also been a therapeutic way for those that knew him to remember him by sharing our 'Stump Stories', and getting to share and pass on that little bit of Stump with those that didn't have the pleasure of meeting him."
Senior Master Sgt. Amy Long, 303rd IS superintendent, asked the participants to reflect on the lessons Stump taught them throughout the run.
"The first message is that your life is what you make of it," said Long. "It's what you decide it will be. There is nothing more powerful than the will to do something and with that will, you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. The second message is that life is precious. Enjoy it and celebrate each day that you are alive by appreciating it."
The memories and messages Corey Stump left behind will always be engraved within the 303d Intelligence Squadron, said Long. In order to share his legacy with the Osan community, the Stump Run will be an event the 303rd IS plans to organize for years to come.