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Completed a personal tradition again this weekend: Bataan Memorial Death March

shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior MemberPosts: 5,703 Senior Member
Hey all, some of you may remember that since I was 16 years old I try to annual attend the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, NM (www.bataanmarch.com). It's a marathon (26.2 miles) or pseudo half-marathon (15 miles) designed as an event to commemorate those who suffered through the actual Bataan Death March in WWII.

They offer two different styles: Civilian and Military (done in uniform), and two categories: Light and Heavy (No pack, 35lbs pack). I have participated in Military Light, Civilian Light, and Military Heavy.

These past two years since I don't live in NM anymore, it's been more difficult to make it to the event, but both years I've managed to recruit a few people and make the trip. This year I had some reservations about doing it again: Fighting shin splints, plus a busy school schedule had resulted in literally no training to prepare. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but my overall physical condition is the worst it's been in a few years. However, I still pulled the trigger and signed up for Military Heavy.

Fortunately, I finished, but by the skin of my teeth. However, that's all it takes for this event. I'm as proud as ever to maintain my personal tradition of participation, and to give my small part of showing thanks for the Greatest Generation. This may be my last year for awhile, with Flight School looming near, but I won't forget the event and once I can I will be back. It has always been an event that forced me to crush personal walls and challenged what I really thought was possible.

Enough of tooting my own horn, I just wanted to share.

Bataanfinish.jpg
Myself (the one Aviator AKA pogue) and the two LT's (Infantry and Light Cavalry) that I finished the march with (I'm the chubby one on the right).
- I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
"Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski

Replies

  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 6,708 Senior Member
    Good for you.:up:
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie, just look at the flowers.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 10,681 Senior Member
    GREAT Job!!! I did it all but one year while stationed at Ft Bliss.
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,931 Senior Member
    great job, we,re proud of you.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • SlanteyedshootistSlanteyedshootist Senior Member Posts: 3,947 Senior Member
    Quite an accomplishment. Congratulations!
    The answer to 1984 is 1776
  • wolf049wolf049 Member Posts: 217 Member
    Outstanding job Shotgunshooter!
    If you ever get stationed in Europe, you've gotta to try the Nijmegen March. I did it in 1986 and had a blast meeting our military counter parts that I would not of had the chance to meet otherwise. My feet, lower back and shoulders where tore up from the blisters but it was well worth it.
    "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
    - Richard Henry Lee
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,703 Senior Member
    Thanks guys, Bataan is always a great experience. The first year I did it, I barely finished and still consider it one of the hardest things I've ever done.

    This year was well worth the black toenails, flared up ITBS, and blisters. If I am able to go next year I think I am going to do Military Light and run the course.
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    Proud of you, little brother!
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,641 Senior Member
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,387 Senior Member
    Hey all, some of you may remember that since I was 16 years old I try to annual attend the Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range, NM (www.bataanmarch.com). It's a marathon (26.2 miles) or pseudo half-marathon (15 miles) designed as an event to commemorate those who suffered through the actual Bataan Death March in WWII.

    They offer two different styles: Civilian and Military (done in uniform), and two categories: Light and Heavy (No pack, 35lbs pack). I have participated in Military Light, Civilian Light, and Military Heavy.

    These past two years since I don't live in NM anymore, it's been more difficult to make it to the event, but both years I've managed to recruit a few people and make the trip. This year I had some reservations about doing it again: Fighting shin splints, plus a busy school schedule had resulted in literally no training to prepare. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but my overall physical condition is the worst it's been in a few years. However, I still pulled the trigger and signed up for Military Heavy.

    Fortunately, I finished, but by the skin of my teeth. However, that's all it takes for this event. I'm as proud as ever to maintain my personal tradition of participation, and to give my small part of showing thanks for the Greatest Generation. This may be my last year for awhile, with Flight School looming near, but I won't forget the event and once I can I will be back. It has always been an event that forced me to crush personal walls and challenged what I really thought was possible.

    Enough of tooting my own horn, I just wanted to share.

    Bataanfinish.jpg

    Myself (the one Aviator AKA pogue) and the two LT's (Infantry and Light Cavalry) that I finished the march with (I'm the chubby one on the right).


    Thanks SS3, this means a lot to me. I think I told you that my uncle was on Bataan and was one of the many who surrendered to the Japanese on April 9th, 1942. He survived the death march and Camp O'Donnel, but died in Cabanatuan in October of 42 during a diptheria epidemic. He received the DSC postumously. His wife, my aunt, who is my mother's only sister, is still alive here in town in an assisted living center. She is 94 and other than being legally blind from macular degeneration she's still going strong. She's survived cancer and heart surgery and is still kicking. She lived in the Philippines with him for two years from 1939 after he graduated from West Point, until she had to leave in October, 1941. She was on the last ship out.

    I have been there to Bataan all the way down the peninsula to Mariveles where the death march started. We drove from there all the way 60 miles to San Fernando where the prisoners were put in hot rail cars and hauled to Tarlac (Actually we road down to Mariveles on the Death March Trail and didn't know it. There's only one road down and back). Many died in the cars because they were steel and it was very hot. Then they were forced to march the last 6 or 7 miles to Camp O'Donnel. We didn't go there, but next time I'm in the Philippines I want to Hire a car and driver and drive to Tarlac and see Camp O'Donnel. Then I'd love to ride on over to Cabanatuan just to say I've been there. I'm the only member of the family who has been to Bataan. As you probably know, Cabanatuan is the camp where the Japanese sent the whites. They kept the Filipinos in O'Donnel until they freed them in I think 1943 trying to gain the favor of the Filipino people. However over 25,000 Filipinos died in O'Donnel, so the Filipinos were not impressed with any gesture of generosity the Japanese may have shown at that time and it didn't work. The Filipinos faught the Japanese with an underground movement until the Americans came back and swept the Japanese out of Manila and up into the mountains in Northern Luzon where they practically inialated them. In January, 1945, the American 6th Ranger Batallion freed the last 500 prisoners from Cabanatuan. This was what the movie "The Great Raid" was about.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,811 Senior Member
    If I'd have known you were around, I'd have bought you lunch.

    Congrats on making the long haul. It's quite an accomplishment.
  • jgunpilotjgunpilot Member Posts: 211 Member
    Way to go! Good job representing your unit, doing the military heavy with little prep shows some balls.
    "Remember, the state appointed psychiatrist is not your friend." - Jack Handey®
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