9/11 never forget 24-hour ruck march

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jason C. Brown
  • 838th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group Security Forces
Ten years ago, the American people faced the most significant attack on homeland soil since the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.

As we reflect on the magnitude and scope of the last decade, one word comes to mind linking both of these tragedies, "sacrifice."

Sacrifice in all forms, is what the men and women of our nation's Armed Forces as a whole and their families have surrendered over the course of our nation's history as payment towards the cause of liberty.

They do it to protect not only our freedom at home, but freedom across the globe for all who suffer the absence of liberty. Leaving behind, parents, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and children to serve in combat, the volunteer's of the American military hold vigilant to their oath's to defend the American constitution.

The men and women of the 838th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group, Security Forces Squadron, decided there needed to be an event of sacrifice in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 lives lost on the morning of September 11, 2001, as well as for those who will never return from foreign fields of battle since that day.

They wanted something simple, no fundraisers, prizes or t-shirts; just some camaraderie, hard work and a chance for everyone to reflect on what's important to them and acknowledge the sacrifices they and their families make every day during their deployment to Afghanistan.

By daylight and torch-light, they organized an event where nothing was said, yet much was heard. Their embodiment of such a silent statement was to host a 24-hour ruck march at the base track, on the forward operating base they and many others defend each day.

All of Shindand Air Base was invited to partake in the somber shuffle of boots across the desert floor. Weight and distance were the opponents on this day as more than 300 members of team Shindand stomped out 1,820 miles of unyielding resolution to remember the events marking this calendar date.

Keeping true to traditions and customs that embody U.S. Air Force Security Forces, they ensured at least two members held the track at all times, keeping the American flag moving the entire 24 hours. Yet on this day, security forces members were not alone on this post. To their encouragement, hundreds of people came out to show their support. Volunteers came day and night to hand out water and snacks with the base fire department hosting a barbeque as the track was flooded with U.S. Air Force, Army, Italian Army, civilian contractors and American flags.

Pride and patriotism were certainly on display in Shindand and the event was a true testament to the team work that occurs every day to make the mission a success.