LENOIR, N.C. — Soon after learning a roadside bomb took the life of his son-in-law in Iraq, Bob Navarro, southeast regional manager for Continental Access, a division of NAPCO Security Systems, was organizing plans to help his daughter, Michelle Bowman, celebrate the life of her fallen husband.
Army Sgt. Larry “Robby” Bowman, 29, died in Bagdad April 13, 2007, from wounds he suffered when his vehicle struck the explosive device. Navarro and other family members collected donations from community members so some of Bowman’s fellow soldiers could attend his funeral service back home in Granite Falls, N.C.
Helped also by a generous contribution from NAPCO, the donations covered expenses to fly in 26 soldiers and their wives, who traveled from Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Sill, Okla.; and Fort Bragg, N.C.
“Losing Robby has been very tough on my daughter. We are so thankful to have such a tremendous outpouring of support from the community,” Navarro says. Navarro, who has spent more than 35 years in the security industry, is now helping his daughter organize the first annual memorial “Robby’s Run,” a benefit 5K run to be held in Lenoir, N.C., April 13, the one-year anniversary of Bowman’s death.
Michelle Bowman has decided to donate money raised from the inaugural event to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which provides support to severely injured soldiers and their families. More than 200 runners are expected to take part in the fundraiser, which will also include a 1 Mile Family Fun Run, picnicking, an honor guard and other activities.
For more information about the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Funds, visit www.fallenheroesfund.org . To learn more about “Robby’s Run” or to make a donation, E-mail Navarro at firstname.lastname@example.org.