The marchers are almost to the finish line and it’s a very bitter sweet feeling. You almost want to keep going so you can see the tears in peoples’ eyes when the American flag is carried by, so you can shake the hands of the Veterans on the side of the road, so you can wave to the people who come out of their house and so you can give hugs to all the little kids waiting for you to march by.
But the mission is almost complete, the mission of honoring 17 fallen special operations Airmen and letting their families know that we will never forget their sacrifice.
For those children who lost their Dad, they will always have a hole in their heart missing that hero, that man who loved them and raised them to respect the American flag and show them that defending their country is an honorable duty.
For the sisters and brothers who lost their brother, they will always miss that person who picked on them with love but always protected them as a big brother or looked up to them as a little brother.
For the parents who lost their son, they will always always remember their child who left this world before them, something a parent should never have to experience. But they know that their son was doing something he loved, and doing something he believed in. They know he lived to save lives and protect those around him. They know he is watching down on them and these marchers and they are proud. They are proud to be a part of this tight knit community of warriors and they are proud of these men who endured the treacherous 812-mile march to spread the word about their sacrifice and about these special operators who defend our freedoms.
Thank you all for supporting this important mission of honoring our fallen.
Rest in peace:
Master Sergeant William McDaniel – pararescueman – 22 Feb 2002
Staff Sergeant Juan Ridout – pararescueman – 22 Feb 2002
Technical Sergeant John Chapman – combat controller – 4 Mar 2002
Senior Airman Jason Cunningham – pararescueman – 4 Mar 2002
Staff Sergeant Scott Sather – combat controller – 8 Apr 2003
Capt. Derek Argel – special tactics officer – 30 May 2005
Capt. Jeremy Fresques – special tactics officer – 30 May 2005
Staff Sgt. Casey Crate – combat controller – 30 May 2005
Senior Airman Adam Servais – combat controller – 19 Aug 2006
Technical Sgt. Scott Duffman – 18 Feb 2007
Technical Sgt. William Jefferson – combat controller – 22 Mar 2008
Staff Sgt. Timothy Davis – combat controller – 20 Feb 2009
Senior Airman Daniel Sanchez – combat controller – 16 Sep 2010
Senior Airmen Mark Forester – combat controller – 29 Sep 2010
Technical Sergeant John Brown – pararescueman – 6 Aug 2011
Technical Sergeant Daniel Zerbe – pararescueman – 6 Aug 2011
Staff Sergeant Andrew Harvell – combat controller – 6 Aug 2011