'We're in desperate need': Fort Bragg needs thousands of donated military boots for May memorial

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- A display for fallen military members is making a return after being canceled in 2020, but Fort Bragg officials need help to make it happen.

The military boot memorial is a part of the military installation's "Run, Honor, Remember 5K" that happens every May.

While the 5K, which tends to draw nearly one thousand people, is still up in the air, officials have greenlit the boot display.

The only problem is that they are extremely low on military boots that are in good condition.

Charlotte Watson, the Fort Bragg Survivor Outreach Services Program Manager, told ABC11 they had to throw out 4,000 boots from storage.

"Due to the weather and the climate and storage, our boots have deteriorated. We had some with mold, some that had dry rotted," said Watson.

Right now, the department is short around 3,500 boots or 1,800 pairs to meet its 7,500 mark. Watson said each boot will have the names of military members who have lost their lives since 9/11. In addition, some families will also decorate and personalize their loved one's boot with pictures, tags and words.

"When you see those boots on that field, it is...it is a symbol. And for me, it means what we're doing is important," Watson added.

The SOS says anyone can donate to the cause. If you would like to help, you can donate to these locations on Fort Bragg:

  • Survivor Outreach Services Facility

  • Soldier Support Center (Main Floor)

  • Soldier and Family and Readiness Group Center


For citizens, you can call the SOS at 910-396-0384 for details on how you can donate. The SOS will be accepting military boot donations until April 16 and will start placing them out on Hedrick Field starting May 21.

Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.