ROTC program hosts 9th Annual Eric D. Yates Memorial Run

John Singleton

WKU Army ROTC program hosted an annual run to raise money for students’ education and remember an alumnus and fallen soldier.

The Ninth Annual Eric D. Yates Memorial Run was held on Wednesday at Chaney’s Dairy Barn, 9191 Nashville Rd. Participants could register for a two-mile walk or a 5K Run.

Eric D. Yates, a 2008 WKU graduate from Rineyville, was killed in action Sept. 17, 2010 after an explosive device detonated near his patrol in Afghanistan. Yates served in the Army’s 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division from Fort Campbell.


Proceeds from the memorial run benefit the 1LT Eric Yates Memorial Scholarship Fund. Registration for the run/walk was $20 in advance to the Race Entry website or $25 at the event. On-site registration began at 5 p.m. and advanced registration participants got an event t-shirt.

Beth Ann Dillon, program coordinator and academic adviser for Military Science, said there were 191 runners Wednesday night and over $13,000 was raised between runners, sponsors and a $500 check from Screaming Eagle Foundation. The Screaming Eagle Foundation supports the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) out of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, the unit 1LT Eric Yates was assigned to.

Screaming Eagle Foundation Scholarships provide financial aid for a 101st Airborne Division Association member or family member to further his or her education. Screaming Eagle Foundation Scholarships are awarded to students whose essay on Patriotism best reflects the ideals and values of American citizenship, according to their website.

Runner Cooper DeGrassi said he ran his heart out for the cause because he knows how it feels to lose a loved one in the military. DeGrassi said his late cousin also died in combat.

“I live for things like this,” DeGrassi said. “It really allows people to come together to support the cause and raise money.”

John Singleton can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected]. Follow John Singleton on Twitter at @jsing43.