SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A race kicked off at Nathan Bill’s Bar and Restaurant in Springfield on Sunday to remember a fallen hero.

Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan gave his life while defending his country back in 2015. Sullivan died during an attack on a Naval Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, according to a news release from Nathan Bill’s Bar & Restaurant.

He was a three-time Purple Heart recipient, Navy and Marine Corps Medal, and Iraq veteran. On Sunday, people will be gathering at East Forest Park’s Nathan Bill’s Bar & Restaurant for a 5k run and 2-mile walk to remember all he has done for the country. Sullivan was also a Springfield native.

“Freedom isn’t free, somebody paid the price,” expressed Joseph Sullivan, Sgt. Thomas Sullivan’s Brother.

The community saying on Sunday that if it wasn’t for heroes like Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan, who are brave and willing to make sacrifices, there would be no freedom.

“They deserve a lot of gratitude and we have to thank them for their services, and we have to respect them,” expressed Gus Cardona Colon of Springfield.

The money raised from this event will benefit the Gunnery Sargeant Sullivan Scholarship Fund at Pope Francis High School and the Galaxy Council’s support of the Marine Corps Birthday Ball.

“I wanted to honor my brother in a way that preserved his memory, continued to develop and invest in our community, and supported the military and the country for which Tommy gave his life,” said Joseph Sullivan, “The total fund should be an excess of 500,000 dollars, and they use an investment strategy and pay out proceeds from the investments as a scholarship. It’s paying out quite a bit.”

Mayor Domenic Sarno of Springfield will be in attendance at the run/walk on Sunday.

Mayor Sarno states, “I am proud to once again attend, support, and donate to the 7th Annual GySgt. Thomas J. Sullivan Remembrance Run to honor and never forget the memory and sacrifice of Springfield’s own Tommy Sullivan. I cannot thank the Sullivan family enough for always giving back to our community from the GySgt. Sullivan Scholarship Fund, Jessy’s Fight, and the countless other community outreach Nathan Bills and the family do without fanfare. Thank you. God Bless you, God Bless the memory of GySgt. Thomas J. Sullivan and God Bless our Springfield.”

Registration for the event started at 8:30 a.m. and the race began at 10:00 a.m. The cost was $30.00 on the day of the race, and participants and donors can register at their website.

After the race there was a celebration in honor of Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan that included live music, food, and drinks.

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