Run planned for Fitzgerald hero - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Run planned for Fitzgerald hero

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) –A new foundation will ensure that a South Georgia airman killed in Afghanistan is never forgotten.

23-year old Michael Buras died in September.

This weekend, Ben Hill County will hold its first annual Michael Buras memorial run to help raise money for a scholarship.

The death of Michael Buras was shocking for the small community of Fitzgerald but the tragedy brought the community together, and some of those close to him are making sure his legacy always lives on.

The tragic death of Airman Michael Buras touched the lives of many people. One of those people was his high school coach, David Vaughn.

He coached Buras in high school, and the two became close friends, but at first news of Michael's death hit him really hard. He's healing now and feels a renewed sense of pride. "We are still the greatest country in the world and we are still protected by the greatest people in the world," he said.

He wants to make sure his legacy lives on. So he decided to start the IGT foundation in Michael's honor."He would always say I got this, I got this coach and he used that term with his family," he said.

Through this foundation, Vaughn is hoping to create an annual scholarship for students at Fitzgerald High School."Hopefully this will make a difference in someone else's life," he said.

To help raise those funds in his honor, the first annual Michael Buras Memorial Run will be held this weekend. "If anything came of this I would hope we had a heightened sense of appreciation for the service men and women today," he said.

Michael's childhood friend William Chaney says has felt a heightened sense of appreciation since returning hope from overseas."Now, people are non-stop thanking you for what you do, its pretty good people coming together," he said.

He just returned home a six month deployment in Afghanistan. He was there the time as Michael. "We knew the explosion happened, but I didn't find out it was him until I got on face book," he said.

He hopes the heightened sense of pride lives on, "People are under appreciated over there, whenever something like this happens the whole town coming together is really nice," he said.

Because, freedom isn't free, someone has to pay.

Anyone can take part in the run and it's a good way to show your appreciation for the military men and women who put their lives on the line for our freedom everyday.

Click here to get more information on the run


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