Cadets Complete Bataan Memorial Death March
Posted: April 17, 2007
"The Bataan Death March is an experience to remember. The first thing that comes to mind after hearing the name of the event is the POWs who were literally marched to death during WWII. Some march in honor of the fallen, others march for the sake of a good challenge. Whatever the motivation for participating, the event is far from disappointing.
From UT, our heavy and light teams made the 12 hour trip to our hotel in Las Cruces, NM. On Sunday, day of the march, we got up at about 0300 and made our way to White Sands Missile Range where we had registered the day before. Over 4,000 participants were present that morning. Before we stepped off, there was a short ceremony in honor of the survivors of the actual Bataan Death March who are still alive today, as well as those who passed away since last year's march. The march began as the sun rose above the horizon.
The first few miles flew by, and everyone was having a great time. By mile five, the German soldiers who were participating took a short break to take pictures, have a drink, and smoke for a while. At mile eight, the march presented more of a challenge as the next few miles would be straight up a hill. From there on, the path constantly changed elevation and direction. Despite the terrain, most of us were doing fine. When we got to mile twenty, everyone really noticed the toll the march was taking on our bodies. The most grueling part of the march was the last two miles. Families at White Sands Missile Range and the MWR department had lots of refreshments and aid stations spread out every few miles, the last one being at mile 24.
At the end of the march, the light team and heavy team made sure they crossed the finish line together. I'm positive that anyone who has done the Bataan Death March would gladly do it again."