A Soldier Inspires - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Marla Tellez

A Soldier Inspires

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Every foot race event, whether it's a walk in the park or an ultra-marathon,is filled with inspiring stories. But what happened at the 3rd annual 408K "Race to the Row" in San Jose over the weekend transcends inspiration…and, as we say in the business, it was all caught on tape.

Let me start by explaining I ran both the inaugural 408K race in 2012 and last year's 5-miler. I was proud to do so because the event benefits the Pat Tillman Foundation, which provides scholarships for military veterans and their spouses. Many of you know, Tillman was the San Jose native who left the NFL to serve his country following 9/11. He joined the Army, only to be killed in Afghanistan in 2002.

So, it was apropos when a 95 year old World War II Veteran inadvertently became the race highlight.

It was toward the end of the route when the runners noticed Joe Bell, donning his World War II uniform, cheering them on as they passed his home. And then the moment happened.  All it took was a single runner to veer off-course and straight over to Bell, just to shake his hand and say "thank you for your service."  That single salute inspired others to do the same and suddenly, there was a constant stream of runners acknowledging Bell for his service.

Check out the full FOX 11 story about veteran Joe Bell HERE.

Like many moments these days, the touching, spontaneous tribute to a soldier was captured on camera by a neighbor's iPhone.  And thank goodness it was. By Sunday night, the sweet video had gone viral and so far it's earned thousands of views, several of which are mine.  But, I have to say, each time I watch it, I'm no less sorry I wasn't there to shake Mr. Bell's hand.

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