UPDATED: Tunnel to Towers 5k Run, SUCCESS!

By: Brittany Lowe Email
By: Brittany Lowe Email

UPDATE: 9/8/12

It's the national Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers race. Despite the weather nearly 500 lace up their shoes to run in honor of Kyle Hockenberry, first responders, and all military. It's the national Stephen Siller tunnel to towers race.

This is the first year for there to be a race here in Marietta, with all proceeds going to Kyle.

"This is exactly, this is perfect this is exactly what I wish Americans would do everywhere, we take care of our own. Like I said, Kyle made the ultimate sacrifice," says Marine Corps Sargent, William Weber.

Words can't describe. That's the feeling that came over hundreds who became a part of the Marietta Tunnel to Towers race.
The course went from Williamstown into Marietta.

"There's really not words for on how this all came about to be a part of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation for these runs to support our troops and Kyle, sometimes there's not words to describe how we feel," explains Kyle's dad, Chet Hockenberry.

It's all inspired by a New York City firefighter who ran over three miles to the towers on 9/11 only to not make it out alive.
Races around the world remember the sacrifice Stephen Siller made on that day.
Firefighters wear their gear to show respect.

"It gets your heart a pumping and your pride. I'm so proud of this community," explains Hockenberry.

Because of Specialist Kyle Hockenberry, his sacrifice and determination, Marietta joins the other major cities for this run.
One participant traveling from Morgantown honored Kyle the best way he knew how.

"When I was raising money I put a little tag on my donations page and said, good things don't come easy. Kyle, he gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country, this is the least I could do for him, put a little sweat and tears into this so that's why I wore all my gear." Marine Corps Sargent, William Weber, returned from Afghanistan just last December.

"Kyle Hockenberry, who this is suppose to benefit, he was wounded while I was over there, this is my way of giving back to him," says Weber.

Coming from out of town as well, West Virginia State Troopers, running in honor of their two fallen brothers from just two weeks ago.
Other organizations showed their respects to them as well.

"Kyle's family alone has a lot of first responders, military and current military, to get everybody involved and get the community to support our first responders and military, it's tremendous, it's great," explains Hockenberry.

And Kyle s dad, sums up the whole event the best anyone can.

"It's truly amazing," says Hockenberry.

The Cincinnati and other runs throughout Ohio and Kentucky are always benefiting Kyle's new smart home!
UPDATE: 9/6/12

The Marietta Tunnel to Towers 5k run pre-registration has closed with over 400 registered and raising $15,000 already. All proceeds going towards Kyle Hockenberry's new home!

Runners and walkers can still register at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning.

(See below for more information)


The Marietta Tunnel to Towers 5k run will benefit injured Army Specialist Kyle Hockenberry's new "smart home."

After raising over $200,000 at the Gary Sinise and Lt. Dan Band concert, organizers know the area will support the run and Hockenberry.

The run is September 8th, starting in Tomlinson Park in Williamstown before runners and walkers make their way across the Williamstown bridge, through sternwheel, through the tunnel, ending under the Washington Street bridge.

It's all in honor of following Stephen Siller's footsteps. (See below for full story). The Tunnel to Towers run originated in NYC where it has grown to be one of the biggest ever. The run has branched off across America, honoring Siller, military, and first responders.

The race is being sponsored by Confined Space Rescue Team Division of O'Brien's Safety Services, along with many others! Awards, presented by the local Amrine Awards, will be given for each age group, male and female.

Also, anyone needing a ride back to Williamstown after the race can hop on the trolley or the Valley Gem will be dropping people off at the Williamstown boat ramp!

All military, family of, and first responders are asked to wear something that represents just that.

Also a race will be held in Cincinnati September 9th, with all proceeds going to Hockenberry! http://t2trun.org/cincinnati

Registration for Marietta can be found online at: http://www.t2trun.org/mariettaoh
Or stop by the Marietta Fire Department and pick up a hard copy!

Volunteers and sponsors are encouraged to visit the site as well or email:

Or message organizers on facebook at:

Walk or Run, September 8.
Race starts: 8 am. Morning registration: 7 am.
Starts: In Williamstown Park
Ends: Under Washington St. Bridge

Early registration (to guarantee a free shirt): http://www.t2trun.org/mariettaoh
Questions/more information: http://www.facebook.com/TunnelToTowersRunMarietta

Main Sponsor: Confined Space Rescue Team Division of O'Brien's Safety Services
Awards by: Amrine Awards
Transportation: Marietta Trolley and Valley Gem

Organizers with the Gary Sinise and Lt. Dan Band concert are asking the community to line pike street and Marietta College to Dyson Baudo around 6:30. Kyle Hockenberry will be escorted in with a parade or motorcycles.


Triple amputee Army Specialist Kyle Hockenberry is welcomed home with a flag painted by a nationally renounced painter Scott LoBaido.

It took LoBaido only two days to complete the piece, saying it's one of the biggest he's ever done.

"I was actually just going to stop at Hallmark and get Kyle a little card with a flag on it then I said, he probably gets a lot of those, so I made him a nice big one," LoBaido tells the crowd before dedicating the painting.

The flag can be seen driving through Marietta, reminding everyone of Army Specialist Kyle Hockenberry's great sacrificed the sacrifice of all local active military and veterans.

"I don't know, it's pretty amazing, it's kind of big you know, but I can't thank everybody enough for what they're doing for me and everything, it's great," says Hockenberry.

Hockenberry is able to take a short break from therapy to come home.

"To get him out of the boredom down in Texas and routine and get him home for a couple weeks, just makes him feel better and everyone else," explains Hockenberry's dad, Chet Hockenberry. "You get a little normalcy getting back home with everybody."

Thousands has been donated through sponsors and organizations hoping to make Hockenberry's new smart home and his future the best it can be.
Specialist Hockenberry says he is honored to be from an area with such support for his recovery and future.

"I think it's great but people shouldn't just do it for me, they should keep, after I get mine, people should keep donating to the foundation and helping out other soldiers that come after me so people just shouldn't forget about everybody else," says Hockenberry.

"It's still overwhelming, it feels good to know that there's a lot of good out there in a world that 'Topsy Turvy' right now, that there are still a lot of good people out there and are willing to donate to good causes," explains Chet Hockenberry.

Hockenberry has had many opportunities, like this new smart home, through the Stephen Siller and Tunnel to Towers Foundation, who dedicate their time to serving disabled soldiers, like Hockenberry.

"I think the highlight is when I went to New York and saw the memorial and met all the other wounded warriors that are inspirational because there are a lot of quadruple amputees out there and I don't know it just lifted my spirits up a little more," continues Hockenberry.

Hockenberry is currently working with prosthetics in Texas, but he says there's no place like home.

"Get out of the Army and get home. I'm ready to get out of there and get back to Marietta," says Hockenberry.

LoBaido will be speed painting a flag at the concert to be auctioned off.
Every ticket sold from Wednesday until the concert, the Marietta Rotary has agreed to match that, donating a ticket to any active military, veterans, families of, or first responders.

Also the Tunnel to Towers and Gary Sinise Foundation are looking for volunteers to help clean up after the concert Thursday night.
After having surgery just last week, organizers announce Army Specialist Kyle Hockenberry will be attending the Gary Sinise and Lt. Dan Band.

Organizers are asking the community, those attending and those not, to line Putnam Street and Marietta College to give Hockenberry a hero's tribute as he's escorted by hundreds of motorcycles.

The concert is Thursday, August 16 starting at 7 pm.

Gary Sinise Foundation and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers foundation team up to give one local hero new hope.

"I couldn't be prouder of being a part of something that is actually making a difference in so many of these wounded warrior's lives," explains actor and founder of the Gary Sinise Foundation, Gary Sinise.

Every ticket sold for the up coming Gary Sinise and Lt. Dan Band concert will be doing just that... making a difference.
Every dollar made will be going to the building of a new "smart" home for injured Army Specialist Kyle Hockenberry and his family.

"Not only funds to get this home built for Kyle but also awareness within the community and the surrounding area of what Kyle's gone through, what he sacrificed for his country, what we can do to help him and rally around him and show him we appreciate what he has gone through and we are not going to take it for granted and forget about him."

The Lt. Dan Band was started nearly 10 years ago in support and honor of those who serve our country.

"Taking care of our military members before the battle, during the battle and after the battle is critical I think to our nation's security and defense," explains Sinise. "If we can show our veterans that what they do for our country is appreciated and we don't take it for granted and that when bad things happen to them, we're going to step up and do the right thing. I think that helps keep our nation strong and it certainly helps keep these families going after difficult times."

Sinise spoke to Hockenberry himself, saying Hockenberry's sacrifice and determination is what helps makes this country what it is today.

"A lot of different things motivate me and certainly through all the years having met so many extraordinary people who have served our country and being humbled by the perseverance and dedication and the no quit attitude of so many of our wounded warriors and it's very difficult for me to stop and that's why I created my foundation."

It's about showing community support to all those who sacrifice.

"Ninety-percent of our shows, and we play 40 to 50 shows a year, are devoted to active duty veterans, raising money for military charities, benefits all that kind of thing. The band is folded over my over all mission of giving back and supporting and honoring those who serve our country."

Sinise explains the Lt. Dan Band as something for all ages.

"It's all cover tunes, it's a big show, we have 13 people in the band and we cover everything from 40 swing tunes to Jimi Hendrix to Katy Perry and everything in between," smiles Sinise. "It's a real variety show, a lot of fun for every body. People are usually surprised because they don't' expect too much from an actor with a band," laughs Sinise. "I think everybody is going to have a great time. There's something for everybody in our show, kids can come and older veterans."

Tickets to the August 16 concert are on sale now.

"I'm very much looking forward to coming to Marietta," says Sinise.

For more on Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYChMdzoqy0
Also Try: www.garysinisefoundation.org.

Concert Information:
Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band
August 16, Marietta College, 7 p.m.
Tickets on sale at all People's News stores

Ticket availability:
500 VIP: $75
500 Gold: $55
2000 General Admission: $35

Tickets are on sale for the Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band through:

You can also call: 1-800-293-5949 to speak with a live operator.

You can also purchase tickets at the five different Peoples News locations:
Putnam Street, Marietta
Grand Central, Vienna
Blizzard Drive, Parkersburg
Emerson Ave, Parkersburg
Washington Blvd, Belpre

Tunnel to Towers, Marietta 5k Run:

To Register or for more information visit:

The facebook page:

www.buildingforAmericasbravest.org Also anyone can donate to Kyle through the website.
UPDATED: August 2, 2012

"For those I love I will sacrifice." Those lyrics, written by Justin Brannan, are tattooed on the ribs of triple Amputee, Army Specialist, Kyle Hockenberry.

Hockenberry got that tattoo just three weeks before he was deployed.

After Brannan heard about Hockenberry and his true sacrifice, they met in New York City, starting a bond forever.

Brannan is taking those lyrics and putting them to work for Hockenberry. He is selling t-shirts with that slogan printed to help raise money for Hockeberry's new home.

Get your t-shirt for $20 at: www.Forkyle.merchnow.com.

Over the July 4th weekend, Kyle Hockenberry was invited to New York City with other injured soldiers. A website has been created with pictures of those soldiers and their stories. Kyle can be found on there.You can also see the status of the homes being built, including Kyle's.

www.buildingforAmericasbravest.org Also anyone can donate to Kyle through the website.

Concert Information:
Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band
August 16, Marietta College, 7 p.m.
Tickets go on sale at all People's News stores

Ticket availability:
500 VIP: $75
500 Gold: $55
2000 General Admission: $35

Tickets are on sale for the Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band through:

You can also call: 1-800-293-5949 to speak with a live operator.

You can also purchase tickets at the five different Peoples News locations:
Putnam Street, Marietta
Grand Central, Vienna
Blizzard Drive, Parkersburg
Emerson Ave, Parkersburg
Washington Blvd, Belpre

Tunnel to Towers, Marietta 5k Run:

To Register or for more information visit:

The facebook page:

A golf scramble will be help August 4 sponsored by the Marietta Civitan Club.
Oxbow Golf Course, Registration at 8 am and shot gun at 9am.
Cost: $75 per golfer, $144 minimum.
Golf, cart, and lunch included
Any questions contact: Connie Grimes- 740-376-7133

"Kyle gave three limbs for his country, we must give him whatever we can do. Whatever we can reach out and give him some hope," says Stephen Siller's brother and chairman of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers foundation, Frank Siller.

With an American flag ninety feet in the air, hundreds line the street all in support of Army Specialist, Kyle Hockenberry.

"A small town like this is the definition of America, of how a community will come together for a local hero," says Siller

Its all about providing a new "smart" home for Hockenberry. The home will be built by the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and by donations from the entire community.

Hockenberry was unable to be at the parade but his family was.

"It's just an overwhelming, humbling feeling. The community has been with us since day one of Kyle's injuries, to be where we are a year later talking about building a new house for Kyle is just... I'm so honored to be from this community," says Hockenberry's dad, Chet Hockenberry.

Donations are already coming in with People's Bank donating $10,000 dollars after the parade.
Lowe's has also committed Lowe's Heroes to help, as well as helping with the roof.

"We have to make sure that we never forget and that we honor the sacrifice and that is why we are here today, to honor the sacrifice that Kyle made for his country because of what happened on 9/11," says Siller

Now the foundation is asking Marietta and the entire Mid-Ohio Valley to step up and help a hero have a new beginning.

"What a town. Beautiful. I can see how much fun this is going to be and how important this is to everybody to make sure we give Specialist Kyle Hockenberry the house that he deserves," explains Siller.

Anyone can get involved by participating in the Gary Sinise and Lt. Dan Band concert and Tunnel To Towers 5k race in Marietta.

"These are specially adapted smart homes that we're building so it gives Kyle some independence he might not normally have in a normal home, in a home you or I might live in," says Siller.

It's about providing hope for a brighter... more independent future for the injured army specialist and his family.

"The kitchen counters are off an iPad will come down because the shelving is open on the bottom but off his iPad the shelves will come down so if he's in his wheelchair he can get something out of a kitchen cabinet where he doesn't have to ask somebody."

Not just the counter tops but the air, television, and even front door.

Foundation organizer bring together a community, providing hope for a solider and his family.

"To actually give back to all those who gave to us," explains former Battalion Chief and member of the foundation's advisory board, John Carroll," as a New York City fireman that has worked so many events that occurred on 9/11, I saw how the country pulled together and they really made our lives a lot easier the days and months after those horrific events occurred."

"And being one of the families that was lifted, for sure without it, I don't know what we would've done. That being said we want to make sure we lift other areas that are feeling the same kind of pain, other families that are feeling the same kind of pain," says Siller.

Everyday heroes sacrificing for their country.

"He doesn't consider himself a hero but he's truly humbled. He's looking forward to this house because it gives him a goal to get back home to his house during his rehab," says Chet Hockenberry about Kyle.

Concert Information:
Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band
August 16, Marietta College, 7 p.m.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday June 26 at 3 in the afternoon at the Marietta People's News story.
Tickets go on sale at all People's News stores: Wednesday June 27.

Ticket availability:
500 VIP: $75
500 Gold: $55
2000 General Admission: $35

Tunnel to Towers, Marietta 5k Run:

To Register or for more information visit:
Or visit the facebook page at:


A patriotic parade will happen Tuesday, June 26, at 10:30 starting in Harmar and down Putnam Street where the community is asked to line the street in support.

The parade is put on by People's Bank and the City of Marietta. There will be a press release around 11:00 in the morning in front of the Washington County Court House.


The Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers 5k Run benefiting Army PFC Kyle Hockenberry is scheduled for September 8, 2012.

It's a unique experience with Marietta being one for 75 cities holding a run this year.

"Dallas, Texas, Oklahoma City, Fort Lauderdale, Pearl Harbor, the Alamo at San Antonio all have 5k runs and what's unique about them is we're probably the only run where firefighters show up in full gear and run the 5k in the same manor that Stephen did that morning and replicate him," explains the National Director of the Tunnel to Towers run, Roger Stradley.

Marietta will also be sending one fire fighter to New York City on September 30th to run in the 5k race there, following in Stephen Siller's exact footsteps of that day.

For more information visit: http://t2trun.org/site/displaySite.do?siteIdCode=3PXUNZ4E

Or visit the facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/TunnelToTowersRunMarietta

The Tunnels To Towers Foundation announces August 16, 2012, Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band will perform a benefit concert at Marietta college for Army PFC Kyle Hockenberry.

The concert and all it's proceeds go to building Hockenberry a new home through the Tunnels to Towers Foundation.

This is a collaborative effort between the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, the City of Marietta, Marietta College and of course, Gary Sinise himself.

More information on ticketing and the event can be found at wtap.com as soon as it's made available.

WTAP will also have more information on the upcoming 9/11 Tunnel to Towers run coming to Marietta!

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by ProudAmerican Location: Marietta on Aug 23, 2012 at 08:24 PM
    I'm not originally from Marietta, and I don't know Kyle personally, but it's great to see that people still care about our soldiers. So many people have become dependent on them that it doesn't matter if they come home or not. It's sad. And I agree that all soldiers deserve the same respect, but it's amazing to see that the people of Marietta care so much about Kyle that they're donating their time and money to help build him a home where he can actually live. Thank you Kyle and every other man and women who has fought and continue to fight for us.
  • by mike Location: marietta on Aug 23, 2012 at 07:52 AM
    right on Frank
  • by frank Location: parkersburg on Aug 23, 2012 at 04:07 AM
    i know this is gonna sound bad but enough on kyle. yes a war hero and needs help. but what about all our other veterans in the valley, who donating to them?
  • by j lemley Location: parkersburg on Aug 16, 2012 at 07:39 PM
    people are so rude we are not talkin about how words are spelled we are talkin about a man who sacrificed his life for us and in the end lost 3 limbs. Thank you kyle hockenberry for your services.i hope you and your family can get your life back together soon
  • by April Location: Parkersburg on Aug 16, 2012 at 11:15 AM
    I think this is totally awesome that the community is doing this and Gary Senise is fantastic. The flag is gorgeous too. Kyle said it on WTAP, this generosity needs to continue to others who are in need. I don't know you Kyle but want to thank you for your courage and your sacrifices.
  • by Really!! on Aug 16, 2012 at 08:20 AM
    How shocking is it to hear that the person benefiting from this fundrasier might actually be present!!! *rolls eyes*
  • by Proud American Location: South Parkersburg on Aug 3, 2012 at 05:21 AM
    You can count me in on supporting this project as much as possible. This man replied to the call of our nation and his life changed exponentially. It's great that we even have the ability to build a home which can make it easier for him to live as comfortable as possible. His family and friends have committed their efforts to care for Kyle and it must be nice to see their hope and efforts slowly become reality. I also know that there are alot of vets who need additional help and vets of the past did not receive the welcome and care they should have but here is a small step to make life for vets better. I am not family nor have I ever met Kyle personnaly however, I am a fellow brother in arms who deployed to the same area and extremely fortunate to have returned home to my family and friends without a scratch. God speed Kyle, I look forward to following your progress.
  • by Liz Location: Marietta on Jul 21, 2012 at 12:26 AM
    Under Kyles progress, they spelled Marietta wrong. It's written Marrieta instead of Marietta.
    • reply
      by Kim on Aug 7, 2012 at 06:00 AM in reply to Liz
      Liz, Who cares?
  • by anon Location: mta on Jul 19, 2012 at 03:23 PM
    its a shame that the older war vets that also fought for our freedom and have the health problems that they do, dont get as much aid as the younger vets.
    • reply
      by Yeah on Aug 16, 2012 at 08:19 AM in reply to anon
      So true.
  • by Jim Location: Pburg on Jul 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM
    The US gives billions of dollars away every year to foreign countries, and a lot of those countries hate the USA. It is a shame that we should have to have a fund raiser for a war hero. the amount of money they will raise is just a drop in the bucket compared to the money our government gives away..it ain't right.
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