News>Seymour Johnson defenders begin 9/11 Ruck March to Remember
Airmen from the 4th Security Forces Squadron gather prior to the passing of the guidon during the 9/11 Ruck March to Remember in Level Cross, N.C., Aug. 21, 2011. The march is dedicated to the defenders who lost their lives and were injured since the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001. Security forces squadrons will cover 2,182 miles from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, to Ground Zero in New York. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Gino Reyes)
Airmen from the 4th Security Forces Squadron begin their leg of the 9/11 Ruck March to Remember in Level Cross, N.C., Aug. 21, 2011. The idea for the march came from Maj. Jim Alves, the 4th SFS commander, and Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Broughman , the 4th SFS training NCO in charge. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Gino Reyes)
Tech. Sgt. David Leebert, the 4th Security Forces Squadron readiness NCO in charge, carries the Defender Fortis guidon during the 9/11 Ruck March to Remember in Level Cross, N.C., Aug. 21, 2011. Once the security forces flag nears Ground Zero, a joint installation security forces team will march with it in on Sept. 11. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Gino Reyes)
by Senior Airman Gino Reyes
4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
8/23/2011 - SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. (AFNS) -- Eight months ago, the 4th Security Forces Squadron commander and his training NCO sat down here and mapped out an idea to organize a ruck march from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, to Ground Zero in New York in remembrance of defenders who were killed or injured in the 10 years since the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001.
Maj. Jim Alves and Tech. Sgt. Kenneth Broughman were finally able to see the fruits of their labor in first person as the 4th SFS began their leg of the 2,182-mile 9/11 Ruck March to Remember in Level Cross, N.C., Aug. 21.
"Working daily on this for eight months and to be standing here now and seeing the support from the communities is amazing," Alves said. "Makes me proud to be an American."
Staff Sgt. Benjamin Seekell, a 4th SFS military working dog handler, was at the head of the 4th SFS formation to receive the security forces guidon from the 440th Security Forces Squadron from Pope Field, N.C. Seekell was injured by a landmine with his military working dog, Charlie, in Afghanistan in May.
"Seeing an Airman who stepped on a landmine just three months ago and is here receiving the flag for us is nothing short of amazing," Alves said. "That is motivation!"
"My most important thing is to be out here after my injury to participate," Seekell said. "I don't care if I walk five steps, I'm just happy I can be here for my unit."
Once the flag gets to the last leg before entering Ground Zero, it will be marched in by a joint installation security forces team. By the end of the march, security forces units from Texas to New York will have marched approximately 145 miles each. Besides Pope Field and Seymour Johnson AFB, units involved come from Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Barksdale AFB, La.; Keesler AFB, Miss.; Columbus AFB, Miss.; Tyndall AFB, Fla.; Moody AFB, Ga.; Robins AFB, Ga.; Langley AFB, Va.; Andrews AFB, Md.; Dover AFB, Del.; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.; and the New York Air National Guard.
8/26/2011 1:05:50 PM ET This is totally awesome. Wish I could been on one of those legs cheering them on and of course feeling my heart swell with pride to be part of the Air Force.