I am raising funds to cover travel expenses to New Mexico so that I continue my mission to honor injured and fallen Marines. I am currently training for the 2017 Bataan Memorial Death March through strength training, running and rucking anywhere from 5, 10, and 12ks, half marathons and rucking the hills of the Montana backcountry whenever I can!
The Bataan Memorial Death March commemorates the Bataan Death March in the Phillipines in 1942 when US troops surrendered to the Japanese and we're forced over 60 miles through treacherous conditions and already suffering frpm a multitude of diseases including malaria, berberi and dysentery. I have met a few of the POW survivors and have since become quite fond of these men; including Ben Steele of Montana. Ben dies this year and I will now be adding him to the men I have carried with me now for four years; honoring his service and sacrifice.
I live in Lewistown, Montana. I have been married to the most wonderful man on earth for over twenty years and have three amazing children; all United States Marines! I am a very proud 3 Star Marine Mom! My oldest son is now a combat veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom 2012, my second son just exited the Marine Corps a couple months ago and my daughter remains active duty in Aviation Electronics; she has been deployed to Qatar and just returned from Turkey. My father served over 23 years in the Marine Corps; his first years earning the rank of Master Gunnery Sergeant and then commisioned as First Lieutenant his last tour of duty in Vietnam; he never got to know my children before his death in 1996, yet his pride shines through me.
During my oldest son's deployment to Afghanistan in 2012, the First Battalion Seventh Marines lost four Marines. Marines historically don't talk about the things they saw, but as his mother, I've heard enough and experienced firsthand the unseen scars that war leaves during their homecoming later that year.
I have been fortunate that my Marine returned unscathed, but after his return, I began searching for ways to offer support to the families of the fallen and for those that returned home with the visible and unseen scars of war. I took up running for the first time in my life with a 5k run at 48 years old and I've been running ever since to honor injured and fallen Marines (as well as all branches of the military at the request of families). I have since "ran" three marathons, "rucked" 2 marathons, completed a duathlon, ran several half marathons and other short distances. My mission is to "Be the voice...thank those who serve, honor the wounded and never forget the fallen" by sharing their stories with others. I have carried the pictures and various items given by families with me on all of my endeavors...across the desert, to the east coast, west coast and in between; sharing their stories...saying their names as their families have requested so that others may know them; by both face and name.
I hope that participating in events that I enjoy, I can inspire others to "Be the voice".
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