Lake Charles shipmates honor Bataan Memorial Death March
Posted by PA2 Bill Colclough, Thursday, April 12, 2012
Written by member of MSU Lake Charles
On March 25 2012, two teams of five from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Lake Charles, La., participated in the 23rd annual Bataan Memorial Death March. The Bataan Memorial Death March is a challenging 26.2-mile march through the high desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range, conducted in 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.
This year’s march welcomed more than 7,000 participants to traverse the rough terrain and high mountain ranges. Unlike most other marathons held on flat, paved roads, this course encompassed more than 20 miles of desert trails and an elevation change of more than 1,650 feet.
Additionally, most participants were active duty military who march in full uniform with packs. MSU Lake Charles has consistently sent a team to the Bataan Memorial Death March since 2007. This year, in addition to the team selected to represent the unit, a team of chief petty officers participated as well.
The MSU team finished in nine hours, 48 minutes and placed 11th in the military light co-ed division. The Chiefs team finished in nine hours and 55 minutes and placed 22nd in the military light male division.