Harris Memorial walk transitions to virtual-only event

PATTEN, Maine — The Spc. Dustin J. Harris Memorial Mile walk will not be held in a traditional manner this year, due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

Originally planned for Saturday, April 4, at the Patten Recreation Department, the event will now be a virtual-only walk, with participants encouraged to do their own walk wherever they wish to honor the life of Spc. Dustin J. Harris. 

Participants may still register for the event online.

“This will be a Virtual Event, where registrants can participate from wherever they are, and still receive the same goodies they would by attending in person,” said Jonathan Kelley of CompetitorME. “We at CompetitorME and the Harris Family take the health and well-being of our participants, volunteers, spectators and staff very seriously. With the current fears surrounding COVID-19, we are working with local officials and medical professionals to best understand the impact of our event.”

Army Spc. Dustin J. Harris of Patten was killed in action in Bayji, Iraq, on April 6, 2006, by an improvised explosive device while serving as lead gunner during a combat logistics patrol. 

“Dustin was aware of the risk that a turret gunner has on any mounted patrol but chose that position anyway due to his concern for others,” Kelley said in a press release. “He always volunteered to assume that risk because he recognized that the rest of the vehicles, and his fellow soldiers in the patrol, depended on his mental alertness, judgment and skill. 

“Dustin volunteered time and again because of his love of family, his Band of Brothers and not wanting those who were married or had children assume that risk.”

Those wishing to keep up to date can find the event on Facebook at CompetitorME. Registrations are still accepted online by visiting

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