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News: US artillerymen complete Seoul marathon

Story by Staff Sgt. Carlos Davis and Capt. Kelly McKenzie

Artillerymen complete marathon Courtesy Photo

Capt. Robert E. Auletta, a native of Massapequa, N.Y., and commander of A Battery, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, runs to the finish line of the Joongang Seoul Marathon Nov. 3. (Photo courtesy of Staff Sgt. Felix Mena, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment)

SEOUL, South Korea – A team of 18 soldiers from A Battery, 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery Regiment, 210th Fires Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division completed the JoongAng Seoul Marathon together in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 3.

Capt. Robert E. Auletta, A Battery commander, heard about the marathon from his partner Republic of Korea Army officer. He decided to sign up and encouraged others in his command to join him as a way to build camaraderie.

“My intent to run the marathon was to get out and see the community and our neighbors,” said Auletta, a native of Massapequa, N.Y. “I have been in Korea for a while, and I wanted to get out with our hosts, get some good exercise, and see the community as a whole.”

Auletta enlisted the help of Sgt. 1st Class Rhett D. Massey, a multiple launch rocket system platoon sergeant from Longview, Texas, to train volunteers from his unit for the race. Of the 19 soldiers attempting the course, only Massey was an experienced marathon runner.

The training regimen included Sunday runs along the local river near Camp Casey, the unit’s home station. While some soldiers were initially reluctant to sign up, they developed strong motivation through team training.

“I am not big on running, but I wanted to do something special and memorable,” said Pfc. Lee Ji-hoon, a Korean Augmentation to U.S. Army soldier from Seoul and a fire direction specialist with A Battery.

During the long Sunday practice runs, if any member of the team fell behind, other soldiers would carry them so the team stayed together. The encouragement and teamwork motivated the soldiers to succeed.

As the last soldier from A Battery crossed the finish line of the race, the group shouted their unit motto, “Lightning Strikes!” After months of preparing, the soldiers achieved their ultimate goal, to finish the marathon as a team.

A Battery marathon team:

Capt. Robert E. Auletta, A Battery commander, Massapequa, N.Y.

Sgt. 1st Class Rhett D. Massey, platoon sergeant, Longview, Texas.

First Lt. James Becker, A Battery executive officer, Cumming, Ga.

First Lt. Edward Crowe, platoon leader, Saint Marys, Pa.

First Lt. Madison Sumpter, B Battery, 1st Battalion, 38th FA Regiment executive officer, Montgomery, Ala.

First Lt. Joshua Sumpter, battalion adjutant, 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery Regiment, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

Second Lt. Brian Sears, platoon leader, Waynesville, N.C.

Staff Sgt. James Janda, fire direction chief, Houston.

Sgt. Christopher Betances-Leblanc, display operator, Union Grove, Wis.

Sgt. Nathaniel Fisher, display operator, Suffolk, Va.

Sgt. Joseph Houde, 6th Battalion, 37th FA Regiment schools NCO, St. Johnsbury, Vt.

Spc. Matthew Burian, multiple launch rocket system gunner, Wayne, N.J.

Spc. Jacob Ritchie, fire direction specialist, Pikeville, N.C.

Spc. Anthony Ford-Richardson, multiple launch rocket system gunner, Kaufman, Texas.

Pfc. William Knighten, fire direction specialist, Mount Airy, N.C.

Pfc. Matthew Gonzales, fire direction specialist, La Jara, Colo.

Pfc. Keith Harley, fire direction specialist, Scranton, Pa.

Pfc. Dalton Lopez, fire direction specialist, Wichita Falls, Texas.

Pfc. Lee, Ji Hoon, fire direction specialist, Seoul, South Korea.


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Public Domain Mark
This work, US artillerymen complete Seoul marathon, by SSG Carlos Davis and CPT Kelly McKenzie, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:11.03.2013

Date Posted:11.13.2013 20:23

Location:SEOUL, 26, KR

Hometown:SEOUL, 11, KR

Hometown:CUMMING, GA, US

Hometown:FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO, US

Hometown:HOUSTON, TX, US

Hometown:KAUFMAN, TX, US

Hometown:LA JARA, CO, US

Hometown:LONGVIEW, TX, US

Hometown:MASSAPEQUA, NY, US

Hometown:MONTGOMERY, AL, US

Hometown:MOUNT AIRY, NC, US

Hometown:PIKEVILLE, NC, US

Hometown:SCRANTON, PA, US

Hometown:ST. JOHNSBURY, VT, US

Hometown:ST. MARYS, PA, US

Hometown:SUFFOLK, VA, US

Hometown:UNION GROVE, WI, US

Hometown:WAYNE, NJ, US

Hometown:WAYNESVILLE, NC, US

Hometown:WICHITA FALLS, TX, US

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