Running in honor or in memory of: “I am honoring Technical Sergeant John Tuggle, a Veteran of the Viet Nam War, and Master Gunnery Sergeant Tim Babineaux in this run. “Both have taught me to fight for what you love.”
U.S. Marine Corps
2012 – 2016
When Kaycee Russell was a senior in high school, she didn’t know what to do with her life. One thing she did know was that she didn’t want to be “a broke college kid.”
She joined the United States Marine Corps with a hunger for knowledge. She wanted to learn all the Marines could teach her, and she learned some essential lessons about life and leadership.
“Having the opportunity to work with people from all different backgrounds I learned how to communicate better in many different situations and I learned how to become a leader and not fall into the groove of society,” Kaycee says. “The most important lesson I learned is to learn from and respect every new opportunity and person you meet.”
When her time of service ended, Kaycee let the Marine Corps to start the rest of her life, but she carried the lessons she had learned with her. “Since I’ve been out of the military I have been able to apply what I learned and use that to help influence others to strive to be better,” Kaycee says. “I feel lucky because the training that I received while enlisted gave me more of an eclectic outlook on life.”
Kaycee has ventured out on her own, living in East Tennessee while her family lives in California, although she says her boyfriend’s family has adopted her as their own. She’s looking toward the 2019 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon with high hopes for achieving a new personal record. After running the marathon twice, she’s looking to complete the 2019 race in less than 4:35 hours.
She’s got another goal for the race, too. She wants to explore East Tennessee. “I figured that over 15 miles anywhere and I will start to learn the terrain pretty well,” Kaycee says. She believes her biggest challenge will be staying mentally occupied.
Two people powerfully impacted Kaycee’s life while she was in the Marine Corps. One is John Tuggle, a Veteran of the Viet Nam war, and other is Tim Babineaux. “Both have taught me to fight for what you love, not to argue,” Kaycee says.