The students encountered a variety of weather conditions and terrain during their 1,000-mile march.
The students – Hunter Birt of Keller, TX, Nathanael Duty of Houston, and Ian Morrow of Troup, TX, all from the Class of 2020; Ethan Lochner of St. Louis, MO, Class of 2021; and Wyatt Vance, of McLean, VA, Class of 2022 – are members of Company H-1 in the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. They began their journey at the Grand Canyon on Dec. 29, ending today at the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The cadets marched in the endeavor they titled “Project Atlas,” accompanied by support vehicles, and camped in tents each night. They encountered weather conditions ranging from the desert sun to mountain snow, and marched through rugged terrain including canyons and mountains.
The trip is fully funded through donations, which allow the cadets to focus on bringing awareness to SOWF. Throughout the march, the cadets raised money for SOWF with a goal of raising $15,000. “The money raised through this march provides funding for college education expenses like tuition and books to the surviving children of those soldiers who were killed in the line of duty,” said Birt.
Texas A&M and its Corps of Cadets are known for developing a culture of service and students exhibit selfless service as a core value every day, Brigadier General Joe E. Ramirez, Jr., Commandant of the Corps of Cadets said.
“I am not surprised that these cadets would give up their hard-earned winter break to march cross country to raise money and awareness for this very special organization,” Ramirez said. “That speaks to the kind of selfless people our cadets are, the values they embody every day, and the kind of servant leaders they have become as members of the Corps of Cadets. I am proud of all of them and the way they are representing our university and our Corps.”
This was the third year cadets from H-1 marched across the country in support of SOWF. Each year, new cadets agree to take up the task. Last year, cadets marched 1,100 miles from California to Oregon.