That’s because they’re participating in this year’s “Ruck March to Remember” as part of a commemoration of the lost lives of security force members in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since 9/11, ten security forces Airmen have been killed and more than 100 have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan combat operations.
Marking 10 years since the terrorists attacks on U.S. soil, the march will culminate Sept. 11 at Ground Zero.
Members of the Joint Base San Antonio security forces community began the kickoff leg of a 2,181-mile ruck march here July 12, according to a press release from the base. About 20 security forces members from Joint Base San Antonio units originally agreed to participate in the march, but more airmen have signed on to participate in the march.
Each team member has volunteered off-duty time to participate and any expenses have been paid for by the airmen, according to the press release. Team San Antonio airmen are expect to arrive in La Grange, Texas, which is about 148 miles from San Antonio, on July 16 . Airmen from Barksdale Air Force Base, La. will take up the journey from there.
Each airman will be carrying 50-lb. ruck sacks and marching in temperatures that are expected to be near 100 degrees with high humidity.
In addition to Joint Base San Antonio and Barksdale AFB, other participating bases in the 148-mile legs include Keesler AFB, Miss.; Columbus AFB, Miss.; Eglin AFB, Fla.; Tyndall AFB, Fla.; Moody AFB, Ga.; Robins AFB, Ga.; Pope AFB, N.C.; Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.; Langley AFB, Va.; Andrews AFB, Md.; Dover AFB, Del.; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; and the New York Air National Guard.