March of the Fallen took place at the Verrado Golf Club on April 19th

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March of the FallenOn Saturday, April 19, The Verrado Golf Club hosted March of the Fallen, a 4.5 mile ruck march through the white Tank Mountains. The event is in honor of the more than 6,700 fallen men and women who gave their lives during the war efforts of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn.

A ruck march is a physically challenging hike over rough terrain while carrying a weighted sack. The March of the Fallen event is symbolic of the sacrifice fallen military men and women have given in the line of duty to their country.

Participants either “ruck” or “motivate” in the event. Ruckers hike the 4.5 miles while carrying a backpack with a minimum of 45 pounds in it, usually sand. The other weight categories are 60 and 70 pounds. Motivators accompany ruck participants side-by-side to encourage them as they ruck the required distance. Both participant categories received commemorative t-shirts upon successful completion of the journey.

The motivating opening ceremonies were led by Staff Sergeant Alan McMurray. They were followed by a reverent presentation by a wounded warrior, Matthew Slaydon that reminded all that “nothing is over until the last man is in” and to “remember to always reach back and help.”
More than 65 community and base volunteers greeted the participants back to base camp with applause and lunches.

March of the Fallen is organized by the Fighter Country Foundation, a not-for-profit whose mission is to serve the needs of Airmen based at Luke Air Force Base and their families. Proceeds from the event are donated to the Wounded Warrior Project and the Luke AFB Airmen’s Fund.

See photos from this memorable event on Flickr.