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Minnesota National Guard
Bataan Memorial March

For thirteen years the 1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor in Brainerd, Minn has held a memorial event for the Bataan Death March which occurred after the loss of the three month Battle of Bataan during World War II This May 1 memorial march allowed the local community and Service members to come together and remember those that had fallen and celebrate those that survived that tragic march 

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The Bataan Death March was a forced march of 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war across 60 miles of rough, muddy roads over the course of a week With little food or water to sustain them in the jungle heat and harsh treatment every one in four Soldiers did not live through the march  There were 59 survivors who belonged to the 34th Tank Regiment which later became the 194th Tank Regiment

This year four survivors were able to attend the memorial march To honor the men who participated in the Bataan Death March an annual 20 mile run/march is organized for civilians and Service members to participate in This year the Patriot Guard, an organization known for honoring veterans, lead the march with the rumbling of their motorcycles The march begins with enthusiasm and energy but soon is tempered by the grim determination to complete the lengthy course 

Medals are given for top finishers in several classes for the both run and march with certificates of participation given to all of those that complete the course This year the 20 mile run was completed in 2:40:31 by Mike Jacobs and the Heavy Ruck class (a minimum of 35 pounds) was completed in 3:45:12 by Glen Marshall The winners of the Team Light Ruck class were the youngest 1st place winners this year  Their team consisted of Lexi Zawatzke 15, Sam Gottwalt 15, Taylor Nelson 14, Tori Magee 15, and Korleen Edmond 15 When asked what inspired the young group to compete in this 20 mile run the girls responded, "Our parents are our inspiration, most of us have had parents who served and we wanted to honor them and other veterans" 

By Nickolus Holmgard
1st Combined Arms Battalion, 194th Armor
Unit Public Affairs Representative
May 1, 2010

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