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    Fourth annual March for the Fallen takes place at Fort Indiantown Gap

    Fourth annual March for the Fallen takes place at Fort Indiantown Gap

    Photo By Master Sgt. Matthew Keeler | The March for the Fallen is an annual event in memory of fallen service members. This...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Zane Craig 

    109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – More than 600 service members and civilians participated in the fourth annual March for the Fallen held hosted by the installation’s morale, welfare and recreation program here, Oct. 10, 2015. The event is held annually to pay tribute to service members who made the ultimate sacrifice.

    The March for the Fallen began in April 2012 when a group of Pennsylvania National Guard members, inspired by the 26.2-mile Bataan Death March commemoration event in White Sands, New Mexico, organized a march to honor the fallen in Pennsylvania. The inaugural event took place at Fort Indiantown Gap, near Annville, with a satellite march in Erie.

    This year’s event featured morning and afternoon ceremonies commemorating Vietnam War veterans on the 50th anniversary of the beginning of that war.

    Capt. David Christian, a Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, and Maj. Gen. James Joseph, Pennsylvania adjutant general, who is a Vietnam veteran, spoke at the ceremony.

    “They put themselves in harm’s way so that we may live in peace, and for this, we are forever indebted to them. Our responsibility as citizens of the United States is to never forget the sacrifices they made. I thank you all for joining us to honor the fallen and keeping their memory alive,” said Joseph.

    The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Fife and Drum Corps and Continental Color Guard opened the ceremony, while several Vietnam veterans’ service organizations participated.

    The ceremony, hosted in conjunction with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Appreciation Symposium & Expo and March for the Fallen at the installation that same day, was held as part of the Department of Defense’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

    With the beautiful fall weather and increased turnout from previous years, many civilians participated in the march to remember family and friends who died in combat.

    “We’re staff members from the Christian School of York, and we’re marching in honor of those who have been affiliated with our school in some way who have died in combat,” said a community member attending.

    His colleague added that they actually have their soldiers’ names and faces printed on their backs with a caption of how each one is connected to their community. Of the three soldiers, two died in Iraq in 2004 and one died in Afghanistan in 2014.

    While there was a large number of civilian participants and supporters, there were also a large number of military members in attendance showing their support.

    Spc. Tiffany Dydak and Officer Candidate School cadets Ian Turner, Bret Barr and William Francis were members of the first team to finish the 14-mile ruck. The team took a more competitive approach to the march, setting a goal to finish in under five hours.

    Their training paid off and they met their goal with a time of four hours and 57 seconds.

    Barr said, “I wanted to do something for a good cause and continual training.”

    Another team focused on staying fit and supporting fallen veterans included members of the nonprofit organization Operation Enduring Warrior. Earl Granville, previously a staff sergeant in the 109th Infantry Regiment, led teammates Lindsey Riddell, Jeremy Board, Michael Reese and Bruce Fuscaldo. The team traveled from all over with one member even coming from Arizona to complete the March for the Fallen.

    Granville, a wounded warrior himself, said the purpose of the OEW coming out to the march was to “honor, empower, and motivate veterans to continue to live active lifestyles.”

    Fort Indiantown Gap’s March for the Fallen continues to be an event where soldiers, families and their supporters can gather to celebrate the memory of those veterans who are no longer with us.


    Date Taken: 10.10.2015
    Date Posted: 10.21.2015 12:16
    Story ID: 179502

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