|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Security Forces honoring fallen service members
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. - Barksdale security forces Airmen participated in a unique opportunity July 16- 20 - serving as the second leg in a ruck-sack march to honor fallen service members since 9/11. Security forces Airmen will ruck 2,181 miles along a route from San Antonio to Ground Zero in what will be known as “the Ruck March to Remember” July 12 to Sept. 11. Maj. Jim Alves, the 4th Security Forces Squadron commander at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., suggested the march after reading about combat controllers and pararescuemen who walked 800-plus miles from Lackland AFB, Texas, to Hurlburt Field, Fla., in honor of fallen specialtactics Airmen. According to Alves, the march is in remembrance of the more than 6,000 service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice since 9/11 as well as a time for security forces members to think about how 9/11, has changed their career field and lives. The ruck march began July 12 at the Air Force Security Forces Center in San Antonio. Seventeen members of the 2 SFS met the San Antoniobased Airmen July 12 in La Grange, where Barksdale Airmen took possession of the guidon and began their trek to Livingston. The Barksdale defenders marched 148 miles over a fiveday period, carrying 50 pound rucks in temperatures nearing 100 degrees before passing the guidon off to Keesler Air Force Base’s security forces Airmen. “When we found out about this ruck march, nearly everyone volunteered to participate,” said 2nd Lt. Joshua Hight, 2 SFS flight commander. “We all wanted to do this to honor our fallen and show pride in our career field- to show we will never forget those we’ve lost.” Since 9/11, 10 security forces Airmen have been killed and more than 100 have been wounded in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan combat. Air Force security forces squadrons along the route will participate in the march, each covering approximately 140 miles. Participating units are: Lackland AFB, Texas; Randolph AFB, Texas; Barksdale AF B. La.; Keesler AFB, Miss.; Columbus AFB, Miss.; Tyndall AFB, Fla.; Moody AFB, Ga.; Robins AFB, Ga.; Pope AFB, N.C.; Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.; Langley AFB, Va.; Andrews AFB, Washington, D.C.; Dover AFB, Del.; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; and the New York Air National Guard. The public can participate in the march by showing support for the defenders, cheering for them along the route as they march through town, or by visiting Facebook, YouTube and Twitter pages. The Facebook page can be found at www.facebook. com/pages/Security-Forces- 9 1 1 - R u c k - M a r c h - t o - Remember/170407923010504 and the YouTube page is www.youtube.com/user/ 911RuckMarch.