Colorado's 'Run for the Fallen': A Gold Star family's story

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A first time for Colorado and a first time for so many Gold Star families to honor their loved ones in their home state: The Run for the Fallen started Saturday at Fort Carson.

At stop number five, five service members were honored, one of them being Cpl. Kyle Powell. His mother was there to honor his legacy and remember her beloved son.

“I’m here to honor my son Kyle Powell and he was killed in Iraq on Nov. 4, 2006. It seemed like yesterday and sometimes it seems forever ago and I figure he deserves as much honor as we can give him,” said Nancy Pfander.

One of the best parts for the family, the stop was just a few blocks from the home Cpl. Powell lived in as a baby. Powell comes from a military background, as both of his parents served in the Army.

“Kyle was born at Fort Carson, actually, when I was stationed there as an Army nurse," Pfander said.

Pfander said her son was a combat engineer in the Marines.

"So I ask him, ‘What’s a combat engineer do?’ He said, ‘Well, they build things and they blow things up,’” Pfander recalled.

A job to most would seem terrifyingly dangerous, but to Powell it was something he loved.

In November 2006, Cpl. Powell and another Marine were clearing a road in front of a convoy one night and an IED went off. He was on his third deployment to Iraq when he lost his life.

Now, with the Run for the Fallen, Pfander is hoping this event will carry on her son's name and remind people of the sacrifice their loved ones go through for the country.

“The worry ... about our kids being killed is that they’ll be forgotten. You know, as long as we live they’ll be remembered, but there are organizations out there that assure us that no matter how long we live, our kids will always be remembered."

A worry no mother should ever have to think about.

Pfander says there's not a day that goes by when she does not think about her son.

“Every day, I always see his picture in my house, so I always say ‘hi’ ... and they’re just they’re never far from you. They’re a part of your heart, you know, forever."

Pfander says she believes there is no greater cause than to serve our country.

The Run for the Fallen is a nationwide event, honoring service members who lost their lives to the war on terror. This year the run came to Colorado for the first time.

Runners started on Saturday at Fort Carson and ran to Castle Rock. They stopped there for the night and picked back up Sunday morning. They will finish out the run at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Englewood.