Four members of the Texas A&M University Corps of Cadets recently completed a 1,050-mile, 13-day ruck march across the Southwest to raise money and awareness for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Company H-1 Cadets Hunter Birt, Jordan Rogers, Sebastian Brown and Ian Morrow hiked from El Paso to Telescope Peak in Death Valley, California, from Dec. 27 to Jan. 8. They said they didn’t want to spend the holiday break like the average college student, so they made the long and sometimes painful trek to help families who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Birt said even though the crew experienced injuries to joints and shins and experienced unfavorable weather along the way, it was worthwhile, raising $5,200 of their $10,000 goal.
“We cannot emphasize enough that any pain or suffering that we may have endured was in honor of those that have given everything for this country,” Birt said. “The focus of this project is solely intended to spread awareness of the hardships that are faced by the families of the deceased rather than our own hardships.”
Birt said when they weren’t sleeping in vehicles, they relied on friends for lodging along the way. He said the support they received from friends and strangers alike powered them through the trip.
“Something that was inspirational was the support that many people gave to the cause,” Birt said. “It was especially gratifying to see that Americans were coming together to support those in need. The beauty of humanity and unification is what truly inspired us to keep going.”
Birt, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Fort Worth, Texas; Brown, a junior industrial distribution major from Minnetonka, Minnesota; Rogers, a sophomore entomology/electrical engineering major from Kennesaw, Georgia; and Morrow, a sophomore history major from North Zulch, Texas, have returned to campus for classes, which began Jan. 16.
According to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation website, the organization ensures full financial assistance for a post-secondary degree from an accredited two or four-year college, university, technical, or trade school; and offers family and educational counseling, including in-home tutoring, to the surviving children of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps special operations personnel who lose their lives in the line of duty.
Special Operations Warrior Foundation also provides immediate financial assistance to severely wounded and hospitalized special operations personnel.
Media contact: Sam Peshek, 979-845-4680, firstname.lastname@example.org.