SAN ANTONIO – The 15th Annual Fallen Defender Memorial Ruck March at Camp Bullis saw its biggest turn-out ever, following setbacks caused by the COVD-19 pandemic.
The memorial ruck march is an arduous event where service members honor and remember the selfless sacrifice made by other heroes.
“Today is our 15th Annual Fallen Defender, Fallen Ruck. We do this yearly. It’s our biggest event of the year here, at the 343 Training Squadron here on Lackland,” Sasha Euley, Tech Sgt., USAF said.
With all the excitement and energy, the service men and women gathered really for one reason only, Tech Sgt. Ramir Looney said.
“We are here for a common goal, a common reason, and that is to honor those who have fallen and those have paid the ultimate sacrifice for us all for us right now,” Looney said.
The traditional ruck march is a strenuous hike, with a very heavy backpack.
“Our minimum for the ruck or the backpacks that they have on was a 30-pound ruck and then we know that we have some overachievers and not overachievers, but some people who will go above and beyond. So, it could go from 30 all the way up to about 50-pounds, and then from there, they just have on a couple of our other patches and things of that nature just to pay tribute for those individuals,” Looney said.
Defenders ran or hiked roughly five miles during the march on a familiar course.
“We call it ‘Three Bears’ here on Camp Bullis, and we are instructors here at the three, four, three -- we are very familiar with it because we do it all the time when it comes to training,” Euley said.
The message for the day was simple.
“We are continuing their legacy, you know, and that that is such an honor and it’s an honor to get everybody who comes out here to support this thing, you know, because it is it is very huge. It takes a lot of hard work to put together and just to see the fruits of our labors and the things that we do to continue to pay special tribute. The excitement is through the roof,” Euley said.