FORD CITY (KDKA) — For nearly three decades the town of Ford City has marked Independence Day Weekend with a family tradition — a 5K walk/run that everyone looks forward to.

While 600 participants laced up in Armstrong County, 140 soldiers with the 518th Brigade were hitting the pavement across the globe in Afghanistan.

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“I was approached by Master Sgt. Michael Dobrosky. He was a Ford City native. He couldn’t run the race this year and was very disappointed. He is over there with them now and it was his idea and I’m like this is fantastic. I loved it,” explained chairperson Casey Gilbertson.

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The race is part of a weekend-long summerfest celebration in Ford City.

Master Sgt. Dobrosky sent four American flags overseas for local members of the armed forces to carry during the run.

“We’re thinking of them over there. We’re proud of them. Happy what they’re doing for us,” Gilbertson said.

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Proceeds benefit the Armstrong Riverhawks Football Boosters.