Henderson 5K run, walk to honor hometown hero

HOULTON, Maine — They risk their lives to defend our nation’s freedom. It is our military heroes who make great sacrifices in order to serve and protect. Some heroes make the ultimate sacrifice with their lives.

An undated photograph provided by the U.S. Army Special Forces Command Public Affairs Office shows Army Sgt. 1st Class Aaron Henderson, of Houtlon, Maine, who was wounded Sept. 30 and died Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 at the hospital at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan, according to members of Maine’s congressional delegation. Henderson was injured by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/U.S. Army)

The 5th annual SFC Aaron Henderson Memorial 5K honors the life, and remembers the sacrifice of, Army Sergeant First Class Aaron Henderson of Hodgdon. The race kicks off at 12 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, at the Millar Civic Center in Houlton. 

On Oct. 2, 2012, SFC Henderson died from wounds sustained after an improvised explosive device attack on Sept. 30, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to Company A, 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Kentucky., and was deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. 

Henderson volunteered for the Special Forces Assessment and Selection Course and graduated from the Special Forces Qualification Course in 2006. Upon earning his Special Forces Tab, he initially reported to HHC, 5th SFG (A) as the communications chief. He was then assigned to 2nd Bn., 5th SFG (A) as a Special Forces senior communications sergeant.

Henderson served on three deployments to Iraq and one to Afghanistan with 2nd Bn. “Rocket,” as he was known with fellow Green Beret’s, Henderson’s priorities were serving God, his country, his family and others. Coming home to spend time with his family was one of his favorite things. He enjoyed being at the family camp, hunting, four-wheeling, playing games, sitting around talking and puttering around in the barn.

Registration on event day is at the venue from 10:30-11:30 a.m. A “virtual participant” option is also available online, as is a donation option, for those who cannot make the event in person. 

Registration on event day is also done online, so to avoid lines. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. Registration can be found by visiting All registrants receive event shirts; everyone receives a finisher medal, age group and overall awards, chip timing, personalized bibs, plus a fully supported and staffed course. Entry is $20 per person, with increased pricing day of the event.

The SFC Aaron Henderson Memorial 5K is the eighth event in the newly launched “Service and Sacrifice Series Challenge.” This series was created by CompetitorME and serves as a collaborative effort to raise awareness of events that continue the legacies of our nation’s Gold Star families, military active duty, veterans, and first responder heroes. 

The first of its kind, the “Service and Sacrifice Series Challenge” represents 10 events throughout New England over seven months. The goal is to connect civilians with those who have served, and introducing events, stories, and legacies they may never have known. Being a part of the challenge is simple and can be done anywhere worldwide. Simply register for one event per month, participate in person or online, and earn challenge items at the end. Key components of each challenge event are a kids 1 Mile Fun Run, adaptive athlete category and awards, and a virtual registration option for anyone worldwide to participate.

This event is made possible through the sponsorship of State Farm Insurance (John Harvell) and CompetitorME. Those wishing to keep up to date can find the event on Facebook at CompetitorME.

For more information about the The SFC Aaron Henderson Memorial 5K, including registration and volunteering, plus the Service and Sacrifice Series Challenge and other CompetitorME events throughout New England, please visit

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