"The Fourth of July is such a suitable date for the airing of the event because of the significant presence of the military," said Leon Wolek, founder of Leon's Triathlon.
Opening ceremonies for the race, which took place on Sunday, June 2, at Wolf Lake Memorial Park in Hammond, Indiana, pays respects to all branches of the military and veterans through a series of special events. In addition to hosting the Garrison Flag, a 21-gun salute and a performance by the military choir took place during the ceremony.
This year's event also marked a partnership with Team Red, White, and Blue, an organization dedicated to supporting veterans and enriching their lives by connecting them with the community through social and physical activity.
"Team RWB's message is so important and so powerful, I feel we're obligated to help spread awareness," said Wolek. "We're honored to be in the position we're in to help get the message out, and if we can save a life, how can you put a value on that?"