Military veterans, supporters set out on 4,216-mile Old Glory Relay

Sep 11, 2016
Frank Shaw and Judson Althoff
Frank Shaw and Judson Althoff represent Microsoft at the opening ceremony of the Old Glory Relay.

Reveille is synonymous with military life and, for those who have served, it marks the beginning of each new day. On the 15th anniversary of 9/11, a reveille sunrise ceremony kicked-off the Old Glory Relay (OGR). A group of Seattle veterans and military supporters congregated at the base of the Space Needle, in anticipation of what lay ahead: a 4,216-mile relay, during which 62 teams will bear an American flag from Seattle to Tampa, Florida.

Now in its third year, the Old Glory Relay is put on by Team Red, White and Blue (Team RWB), an organization committed to helping veterans connect with their local communities through a combination of physical and social activities. For many veterans, OGR helps them recapture the sense of camaraderie that was part of their military experience, and provides support as they transition back into civilian life.

These goals are shared by Microsoft, which provides training and resources to help service members transition into successful careers in technology through programs like Microsoft Software & Services Academy.

As a sign of support, for the second year running Microsoft signed up to be the presenting sponsor of the Old Glory Relay. What’s more, several employees, from executives to frontline IT staff, replaced their combat boots with running shoes to take part in the relay. Among them were Frank Shaw, corporate vice president of Corporate Communications and Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Worldwide Commercial Business.

Chris Cortez unfurls Old Glory
Chris Cortez unfurls Old Glory at the Microsoft Redmond campus before this flag begins a 4,216 mile journey across the country.

Speaking at an event before the relay, Microsoft Vice President of Military Affairs Chris Cortez said that: “At Microsoft, we’re all about doing things for the military—not just for our employees, but for all of the vets. Our partnership with Team Red, White and Blue is really an extension of that commitment, which is why we’re so excited about the Old Glory Relay. It’s a fantastic symbol that connects all our country’s vets from coast-to-coast.”

This year’s route will take Old Glory from Seattle down the West Coast to San Diego, then across the Southwest and Gulf Coast states to its final destination: Team RWB’s headquarters in Tampa. Along the way, people are invited to come out and meet the flagbearers who are taking part in the relay, and run (or walk) alongside them.

You can also take part by following on social (#OldGloryRelay) or monitoring the team’s progress on the OGR map throughout the two-month trek. It’s a great opportunity to connect with the men and women who served, and to remember the country for which they served.

Old Glory Relay in Seattle
Team RWB and Microsoft kick-off the first leg of the Old Glory Relay in Seattle.