High winds and heavy rain couldn’t stop loyal friends from honoring fallen hero

A hurricane couldn’t even stop a group of friends from running on the boardwalk in Virginia Beach this Fourth of July.

The guys and girls get together every year on the fourth to remember 1st Lt. Mike Johnson.

“A few of us got together and thought it was a good idea to get together on the Fourth of July and run with flags to celebrate our independence. We want to show support to all of the men and women who sacrifice so much to serve our country but more importantly to do this in honor of 1st Lt. Mike Johnson, United States Marine Corp, who was killed in action and a good friend of all ours,” said Brian Viau, Johnson’s close friend.

Johnson, 25, was killed in Afghanistan five years ago.

In order to honor his sense of service and passion to be fit, his closest friends run with American flags on the Fourth of July to raise money for a scholarship fund they organized in his name.

Despite the Hurricane Arthur warnings, the group made a commitment to still run from 31st Street to the fishing pier and back.

Even with the high winds and heavy rain, Johnson’s friends came out to remember and honor the fallen hero.

“The men and women that serve our country go through a lot worse, just a little bit of wind and rain to show our support is nothing. If Mike had anything to do with it, it would be hot as hell or raining…so we all think he’s got a little do with this [weather] right now,” Viau said.

No man was left behind Friday morning. Some of the faster runners finished then turned around to run and cheer on the others until all 50 made it back.



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