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Annual Run Honors Fallen Local Hero

Updated: Wednesday, May 28 2014, 12:55 PM CDT
SPRINGFIELD -- Local runners hit the pavement in memory of a fallen Illinois State Trooper.
The 7th Annual Brian McMillen Mmorial Run & Walk was held this morning in Springfield.
Mcmillen
was not only a trooper, but was a decorated veteran. His friends and
family say this event helps keep his legacy of service alive.
Walking, running and racing to remember a life cut short.
"He had a very warm spirit, always had a smile on his face," said Trooper Mindy Carroll of the Illinois State Police.
"Very hard worker. Dedicated. He loved his job at the state police," said Brian McMillen's mother, Jane McMillen.
Trooper McMillen was tragically killed in the line of duty in 2007.
To remember him, his heart for service and devotion to running, an annual race was established in his honor.
Everything
I had heard about Brian, was that he was one of the most genuine people
you could have ever met and he would love something like this. Because
it's giving back to the community," said Race Organizer, Craig
McFarland.
Giving back is how McMillen lived his 24 years of life.
He had a very big heart. There's no doubt in my mind that he would be here if it were anybody else," Trooper Carroll said.
This is the seventh McMillen Memorial Run & Walk and organizers say,  it grows every year.
"This year we have right around 500 runners and walkers and maybe another 100 spectators. It's fantastic," McFarland said.
It's something McMillen's family and friends say would make him proud.
"Knowing
Brian he would think this is great. He wasn't afraid of having a little
attention so I think he would really like this," said Drew Thompson of
the Lincoln Land Veterans Club.
McMillen put his life on the line by serving in the Illinois Air National Guard.
"He
worked for me. We deployed to Saudia Arabia in 2002. Got to know him
very well. He was a fine young man. This is my way of honoring him,"
Thompson said.
McMillen's parents cheered on the runners as they crossed the finish line.
They're proud to have an event that celebrates their son's life.
"He was very outgoing. He liked people and he would have just loved this event," said Brian McMillen's father, Terry McMillen.
It's an event to remember the selflessness of a local hero.
"We remember him every day but for everybody to come out for this is just wonderful," said Jane McMillen.
Proceeds from today's race provides financial support to veterans attending Lincoln Land Community College.
Race participants could walk one-mile or run in the five or 10k races. Annual Run Honors Fallen Local Hero


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