Mac Engel

Charity run revived in honor of Garrett Hull. ‘There is a lot of good in this world’

Should you bump into Sabrina Hull, don’t be afraid to say his name or to share a story about Garrett, even though her husband is gone.

Garrett Hull is the Fort Worth Police Department officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Sept. 14, 2018. He left behind his wife, Sabrina, and their two daughters.

Only in the last few months has “the fog” begun to lift for Sabrina.

“For everybody else their world keeps spinning but for those who are left behind their world stops on that day,” Sabrina Hull said in a recent interview. “You don’t want the leaves to drop from the tree and to grow new ones, because it’s a reminder that person is gone. It’s an awkwardness in that we’re stuck and people don’t know how to bring it up.

“I want everyone to tell the funny stories about him. I want to hear the heroic stories about him. I want his name said so it’s still out there. It’s been a year and it’s still so hard to see his name on certain things. It’s still so hard to believe.”

For Sabrina, it may always be hard to see Garrett’s name on a sticker, a poster, a T-shirt, a plaque, or the name of a football game. All of the reminders may help in their own way, but they also serve as a magnet on a refrigerator of what was taken away.

Part of her healing process is to agree to participate in a few charitable events in Garrett’s name, or are part of a larger goal to aid the families who have lost loved ones in active duty.

This summer, there was the first annual “Garrett Hull Blue Bell Co-Ed Flag Football Tournament” in Fort Worth.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday at The Shops at Clearfork in Fort Worth, Hull and others will be honored as part of the national Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation 5K Run. To register, go to https://www.crowdrise.com/t2tFortWorth2019

The foundation was started to honor the New York City firefighter, Siller, who lost his life while working at Ground Zero on 9/11.

This year, the memorial run in New York City grew to include nearly 30,000 runners who follow Siller’s path — through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to Ground Zero. When Siller made his run the morning of 9/11, he was wearing 60 pounds of equipment.

There was a Tunnels To Towers run in Fort Worth in 2016, but the event didn’t do much. One of the participants in the race was Fort Worth Police detective Winky Hix, but he noticed that it featured only about 75 runners.

The Fort Worth charity run lasted that one year.

“I emailed the organization why I thought the participation was low, and I said the biggest was they called it a Dallas race when it was in Fort Worth,” Hix said.

The event organizers asked Hix if he would like to organize the race. He said yes, but not now. With two kids in college, the time was off.

Hix worked with Hull for about a year. With common interests, Hix was immediately enamored with Hull.

When he speaks of Hull, his voice cracks. He needs time to grab his composure, and when he recounts the evening when Hull died, Hix needs a few moments to compose himself.

“It was so bad when he was in the hospital because you don’t see the person you knew 12 hours ago,” said Hix, who retired last year. “I still have to manage my feelings about it.”

Not long after after Hull was killed, a fellow officer was contacted about trying to reach his family to help.

When Hix was made aware that it was the Tunnel To Towers foundation, he told his subordinate to call them back immediately. That this was a legitimate foundation.

Then Hix decided now would be a good time to bring this race back to Fort Worth and to make it a Fort Worth event to honor Hull, and every firefighter and police officer who lost their lives while doing their job.

“To have somebody who is not even from Texas reach out to me and try to help,” Sabrina Hull said. “I mean, they paid off our entire mortgage. There are no words for it. I didn’t even know any of this existed until they called me. It does make you know there is a lot of good in this world.”

None of this, or will ever be, easy, but they all help.

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist who has extensive experience covering Fort Worth-Dallas area sports for 20 years. He has covered high schools, colleges, all four major sports teams as well as Olympic games and the world of entertainment, too. He combines dry wit with first-person reporting to complement a head of hair that is almost unfair.
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