FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. - More than 400 service members
and civilians participated in the second 28-mile March for
the Fallen, held April 28, 2013, at Fort Indiantown Gap. The
event is held annually to raise awareness for service
members who made the ultimate sacrifice.
April 28, 2013 -
The Pennsylvania National Guard has lost 53 soldiers supporting global contingency operations since Sept. 11, 2001. The 28-mile march is held annually to honor all service members who made the ultimate sacrifice.
(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew Jones)
Randall Marchi, Pennsylvania deputy adjutant general-Army,
spoke at the opening ceremony about the sacrifice these
service members made.
“These courageous individuals
stood toe-to-toe with the enemy, offering themselves as
shields for America to keep war from reaching our front
door. Each of them knew what their duty was, but surely each
of them also dreamed of coming home to the people they loved
and the lives they cherished.”
Gold Star family
members of some of the fallen from the Pennsylvania National
Guard and other services were in attendance, and were
recognized. Many of the families were appreciative for the
remembrance event, which has grown from about 50
participants last year.
Kathy Andreas, mother of
Pennsylvania Guard member, Spc. Derek Holland who was killed
in an IED attack in 2008 was in attendance. “You can feel
very alone in this position and this reminds you, you are
not,” she said.
The course took place over
challenging hilly terrain; participants could compete in the
military heavy division, with a 35-lb ruck sack, and
military specification uniform, or in a personal challenge
category where they could walk, run or march some or part of
Maj. Chuck Kim, who did the course in
advance for preparation for the event said, “This course was
awesome, scenic and very challenging. Second Mountain is no
Several months of planning went into the
event, and the event coordinator Capt. Frank Junkin, was
pleased with the results, “I felt a great deal of pride
assisting in the planning of this year's MFTF at FTIG. The
planning staff and volunteers came together from over a
dozen different units towards one common goal ....
celebrating our fallen heroes. Meeting the Gold Star
families and seeing the participants cross the finish line
was truly inspiring.”
A mirror event was held in
Kuwait spearheaded by deployed Pennsylvania Guard members.
More than 600 service members line-up in preparation for the second annual March for the Fallen, 28-mile relay, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, which started April 27, and ended early the next morning. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ashley M. Outler, Third Army/U.S. Army Central Public Affairs)
By U.S. Army Maj. Angela King-Sweigart
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