University News

WIU Fallen Soldiers 5K

September 7, 2021

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MACOMB, IL – "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." -- Joseph Campbell, author, "The Hero's Journey."

Western Illinois University will honor members of the armed forces, along with two of its own fallen soldiers, Capt. Derek Dobogai and Lt. Col. Robert Baldwin, Saturday, Oct. 30 as part of the 10th annual Fallen Soldiers 5K Run/Walk. The event will begin with a ceremony at 8:30 a.m. at Hanson Field, with the race beginning at 9 a.m. in front of Western Hall on University Drive.

Since 2012, the WIU Fallen Soldiers 5K Run/Walk has raised approximately $156,000 for the WIU Fallen Soldiers' Scholarship Fund, which honors the two alumni who were killed in the line of duty.
Dobogai, who graduated from Western in 2003 with a bachelor's degree in law enforcement and justice administration, was among the 14 U.S. soldiers aboard a Black Hawk helicopter that crashed Aug. 22, 2007 in northern Iraq. Baldwin, who earned a bachelor's degree in industrial technology from WIU in 1993, was killed Sept. 21, 2010, when his Blackhawk UH-60 helicopter carrying international troops crashed during combat operations in the Zabul province of Afghanistan.

Registration is $30 for the in-person race and $38.45 for the virtual race fee. WIU student registration is $10 through race day. Race sponsors include the WIU Foundation, Dave and Jackie Thompson, Refreshment Services Pepsi of Macomb, Hy-Vee of Macomb, Engraving by Lin, Prairie Farms and Advanced Rehab of Macomb.

For a $50 donation, Honor a Vet Sponsors may honor a friend or family member who has served or is currently serving in the military. Every honoree will have his/her name, rank and military branch listed on an individual sign, which will be placed along "Veterans Row."

For more information, to register and/or to become a race sponsor, visit or email

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations