COLUMBIA, SC -- Columbia, S.C. - Marines and poolees from Marine Corps Recruiting Station Columbia supported the Marine Raider Memorial March by participating in a portion of the 900 mile ruck on July 21, 2018, as they passed through Columbia, S.C.
On July 10, 2018, a team of 30 Marine Raiders and Special Amphibious Reconnaissance Navy Corpsmen, began their 11 day, 900 mile march to bring soil and the U.S. Flags that were used to cover the raiders remains upon initial recovery, to the Marine Corps Special Operations Command aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C. The march is being done one year after a KC-130T Hercules aircraft crashed in LaFlore County, Miss. to honor the service members who lost their lives.
Marines and future Marines with Marine Corps Recruiting Station Columbia joined the ruckers for nine miles of their hike on Saturday.
"As a recruiter, we spend a lot of time talking to future Marines about the brotherhood we share," said Gunnery Sgt. Sean M. Jones, station commander, Marine Corps Recruiting Substation Columbia, S.C. "We get very few opportunities to really show them."
When Jones heard about the opportunity from another station commander, he knew it was something he had to involve not only himself, but his Marines and future Marines.
Jones said he wanted to make sure the word 'brotherhood' was more than just a word to his poolees. He wanted them to associate a feeling with it.
One of the poolees who joined the ruck said the hope of being a part of the brotherhood was why he wanted to join the Marine Corps.
"Being a part of the brotherhood means it's not just you," said William Christianson, poolee, RSS Columbia. "Once you join the Marine Corps, there is always other people there to help you and beside you for support."
The march isn't just drawing support across the Marine Corps, but also from the communities they walk through.
"The march provides a visual aspect for the community to see the camaraderie and brotherhood that is there," said Staff Sgt. Shawn L. Comtios, station commander, Marine Corps Recruiting Substation Augusta, Ga. "As we were walking with the ruckers, vehicles would stop and ask what was going on."
Not only is the march honoring the service members who died, but also a symbol of bringing them back home on the voyage they were unable to make.
To support the march, follow the Marine Raider Memorial March on Facebook and visit their website at http://www.ruckingraiders.com.