Father of enlisted man runs with American flag to honor his son

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A photo of a man running with an American flag has been getting its fair share of views on social media.

10 On Your Side met with the runner, and as it turns out, there is a great story behind a great photograph. 

Wayne Parfitt is the runner in the photograph seen by hundreds. Parfitt runs every chance he gets and depending on the day, he runs 8 miles or even 20.  However, it is what Parfitt is running with that is garnering a lot of attention in Newport News and beyond.

Many have said they’ve seen Parfitt running with the Stars and Stripes in hand.

Veteran Ed Ellington snapped a photograph of Wayne in action, and it’s been viewed hundreds of times. 

“My son enlisted in the Army about a year ago,” said Parfitt.

His son Joe is now deployed and Wayne has been running since June with the flag waving in the wind. 

“I felt in my heart that I should run with the flag as a way to honor him as a way to be thankful and be proud,” Parfitt said. “I get people blowing their horns, some thumbs up, even had a few people stop while walking and salute the flag and it gets you, it’s pretty amazing.”

And while Parfitt’s son continues to serve our country somewhere overseas, here at home Wayne is honoring every milestone Joe makes. 

“July 4th is also my sons birthday and I knew I was going to run 17.76 miles and I thought that’s a great idea.”

Parfitt is training for the Chicago Marathon and he takes off Friday for the big race. We wish him the best of luck. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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