Superman Celebration Walk Honors Injured Soldier


By Stephanie Tyrpak
By Nick Hausen

MASSAC CO. -- The Superman Road Race is yearly a tradition marking the opening day of the Superman Celebration. It was a little more special this year. The community honored a local soldier injured in the line of duty.

The two mile course around Fort Massac usually celebrates the superheroes. However, Metropolis had their very own hometown hero to walk beside this year.

"I love competition, I love drive," said Sgt. First Class Jared Bullock. "So to me it's not a setback or anything like that, so it's just relearning."

Bullock lost his right leg and right arm in November. The special forces soldier was on patrol in Afghanistan and riding in an ATV.

"Me and two of my buddies, we hit an IED," said Bullock. "My one buddy you know he passed away, and the other suffered severe head trauma."

The months since then have been filled with rehab and recovery. It's a process that Bullock has faced with optimism and sometimes humor.

He even completed the race on a new leg that was just recently fitted.

"You can say challenges, but I say it's really just adapting," said Bullock. "I think one good thing came out of it is I'm actually left handed, you know even though I lost my right arm."

Bullock got some support Thursday night from another group of real life heroes.

"We're not soldiers so we won't carry rucksacks or M16s or anything," said Metropolis Firefighter Bobby Williams. "This is our equipment."

Firefighters in full uniform from all over southern Illinois came to march next to Bullock. They'll stand beside him again later this summer. The Associated Fire Fighters Of Illinois is excited to give his family a specially-outfitted truck.

"It's a small, minute honor that can be given to him for the sacrifices he's given up," said Williams.

The Bullocks are scheduled to receive that truck from the firefighters September 13th during the home football game at SIU.
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