Crowds of people take over the Coronado Bridge during run to benefit local military families

CORONADO, Calif. - Thousands of people walked across the Coronado Bridge on Sunday morning as part of a run that will benefit local military families.

The annual Coronado Bay Bridge Run and Walk raises money for the recreational programs for service members and their families.

"For the junior sailors, it's a home away from home for them," said Lt. Michael Smith.

Roque Pangelinan, who has served in the military for more than 20 years, knows firsthand the importance of the Morale Welfare and Recreation program, especially with young children.

"Discounted tickets, if they have events stuff like that or even just taking the kids to the movies," he said. "We have a family night where we go to the movies and it's all through MWR."

There are more than 500,000 members of the military that call San Diego home. Many of them were at Sunday's run.

10News caught up with two veterans who are now firefighters. They chose to run the 4 miles in their fire gear while carrying the American flag as a tribute to those who serve.

Cliff Walker told 10News, "These guys are laying it on the line every day, paying the ultimate sacrifice, and I have to run 4 miles and deal with a little bit of pain. It's nothing from what they do for us every day."

Other participants, like Maricela Herrera, say they wanted to give back while getting a rare opportunity to walk across the Coronado Bridge.

"Even though we pass it every day by car, you only get to run it once in your lifetime," she said.

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