Marilyn Olson via Crowdrise
March 13, 2014
BENEFITING: WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT
EVENT DATE: Mar 23, 2014
On March 23, 2014, Marilyn Olson of Bigfork, Montana will be participating in the 24th Annual Bataan Memorial Death March; a challenging 26.2 mile march through the high desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range in combat boots to honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II, sacrificing their freedom, health and, in many cases, their very lives. But her efforts go beyond just that; honoring four US Marines who sacrificed their very lives during her son's deployment to Afghanistan last year and to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project to support those who returned with both visible and invisible scars of war.
Wounded Warrior Project is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. It serves to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women; help severely injured service members aid and assist each other; and provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.
She is the mother of three US Marines; two sons and a daughter. In 2012, her oldest Marine served during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF 112) with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines. She was on the phone with her son when Marines called out "River City" and the phone went dead. They lost four Marines during Operation Jaws in the Sangin Valley of Helmand Province. Her son's squad was one of the initial forces.
On a personal level, Marilyn is doing this to honor those four US Marines who lost their lives during that operation. She has been blessed to have her travel expenses from Montana to New Mexico paid for by her son's local VFW Post 4042, the Flathead Marines, her local Ladies Auxilliary and many hometown supporters. She has been training all summer; running distances from 5k to half marathons, hiking and training in combat boots.
Marilyn had the opportunity to meet many of the young Marines of 1/7 upon their return to the US and heard firsthand of their experiences during those two days in the Sangin Valley. She visited with the injured and witnessed the sadness that lurked among a room of hundreds of Marines as they showed images of the brave Marines that died. Marilyn has shared in the sorrows of a Marine mother who reached out to her online as she learned of her son's death . The mother rushed half way around the world from vacation just to beat her son's arrival home to US soil. Although Marilyn has never met her friend face to face, she shared in the worries of their sons deployment, the joy of receiving their phone calls home and then great sorrow of her friend's loss .
Marilyn's mission is to make sure that the faces of war are not forgotten; that people know their names and honor their great sacrifices; and raise the awareness that there is help for our wounded veterans of war and their families through the Wounded Warrior Project.
Please show Marilyn your support by donating to this great organization.
WHY THE BOOTS?
Marilyn's combat boots were purchased through the Boot Campaign, a grassroots organization that "Gives Back When They Come Home"; Proceeds from their boot sales, combined with donations and corporate sponsorships, help assist wounded military and their families with job placement, mortgage free homes, PTSD counseling, adaptive clothing and so much more. - See more at: http://www.bootcampaign.com/about/#sthash.W5wRKJPZ.dpuf
ABOUT THE MARCH
The Bataan Memorial Death March honors a special group of World War II heroes. These brave soldiers were responsible for the defense of the islands of Luzon, Corregidor and the harbor defense forts of the Philippines. The conditions they encountered and the aftermath of the battle were unique. They fought in a malaria-infested region, surviving on half or quarter rations with little or no medical help. Learn more