All branches of the military are honoring the men and women who lost their lives to protect our country. The 15th annual “Tribute to the Fallen” at Fort Gordon wrapped up today.
Groups of Marines, Navy, Air Force, and the Army ran around Barton Field 24 hours per day for 10 days. It is an effort to honor more than 1,500 Marines and Navy personnel who lost their lives at battle in the middle east.
“Every family has been affected, and every generation has been affected,” said Navy Captain, Bill Kramer. “So while you look at those, you reflect on all those generations.”
Kramer says the tribute is more than just running a three-mile lap with other service members. Instead, it’s a time for reflection.
“It’s taking yourself and being uncomfortable, to help you remember those who made the sacrifice,” said Kramer.
While carrying dog tags of the names of those killed.
“It just one of those experiences where you understand the sacrifices when you to place a dog tag for each person who lost their lives during that fight,” explained Major for the United States Marine Corps, Michael Lehmer.
Brandon Jimenz is a Marine, experiencing this for the first time. He says the tribute is the perfect way for him to say thank you to comrades who came before him.
“If it were up to me, I would be in their place,” said Jimenz.
The First Class Private was the last Marine to finish the three-mile lap but says that was his biggest inspiration.
“If I couldn’t be there with them, I’m going to run for those who are there and right now,” said Jimenz.
Jimenz says seeing all branches of the military coming together for a common cause just before memorial day is moving.
“The biggest honor of my Marine Corps career,” explained Jimenz. “It will be the biggest for my entire life, knowing I ran for my brothers and sisters of the United States of America.”
The tribute run concluded with a 21 gun salute.