Aquil Bey could not hide his exhaustion, nor did he try. Fatigue was etched across his face.
Talking was tiring, so you can imagine what it was like to walk. Like thousands of others, Bey completed the GEICO Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon, only the 43-year-old Bey did it wearing complete Army combat fatigues and boots, weighing him down about 45 pounds.
Bey ran the marathon, his first, with his wife, Susana. They finished in 3 hours, 46 minutes.
Bey did it it full regalia to honor the six Army soldiers who died trying to rescue Bowe “Robert” Bergdahl. Bergdahl left his post in Afghanistan in 2009, was captured and later released.
“I’m a soldier,” said Bey, who served 20 years in the Army and now owns a self-defense consulting company. “I know what it’s like to follow orders. I know what it’s like to do anything for the person to your left, the person to your right. You would go through fire for them.
“I’m compelled to honor their memories.”
Minutes after the race, strangers approached Bey multiple times and thanked him for their service.
“You are fricking awesome,” said one woman.
“These guys were true warriors,” Bey said. “We can’t forget that. We have to memorialize them. This is just a small token of appreciation for everything they’ve done.”