Eight hundred twelve miles. Ten days. Twenty-four/seven operations. Twenty Special Tactics Airmen. Fifty pound rucksacks. And a heck of a lot of anti-inflammation medication.
Why would anyone march halfway across the country without stopping?
1) To honor the fallen. Since 9/11, 19 Special Tactics Airmen have given their lives in pursuit of ensuring freedom and protecting their team mates in combat. These 19 fallen comrades gave everything they had for their country and their fellow Americans. This march only takes place in the year that an Airmen is killed; most recently, the special operations community lost Capt. Matthew Roland and Staff Sgt. Sibley on Aug. 26, 2015, in Helmand Pronvince, Afghanistan. This march is for all the fallen and their Gold Star families left behind, but specifically memorializes Roland and Sibley.
2) To educate the public. We want people to know what Air Force Special Tactics is (the credible ground special operations force who brings air power to the ground SOF missions), and we want to to raise awareness of the service given and sacrifices made by these warriors.
3) To recruit like-minded individuals. Does walking 812 miles in service to fallen comrades sound like a good idea to you? Then perhaps you should look into becoming a part of a community that pushes themselves above and beyond what seems possible, to join a community of quiet professionals who sacrifice much and ask for little. This march highlights what it means to be a Special Tactics Airman, and we hope it inspires others to achieve the seeming impossible.