On March 20th, members of the UCSB Army ROTC Bataan Memorial Death March Team will complete a marathon in either New Mexico or Santa Barbara with a ruck weighing at least 35lbs in honor of those that suffered and died during the Bataan Death March in 1942.
Eighty years ago, thousands of U.S. and Filipino soldiers in the Philippine Peninsula surrendered upon being overwhelmed by Japanese forces. These troops became prisoners of war and soon began a 65-mile march through the jungles of the Philippines while being deprived of food, water, and medical attention. Over the days of forced marching that followed, approximately 10,000 service members died.
By competing in this march, those on the team aim to honor those who have come before them and those who serve today. Over the course of the 26.2 miles, each team member will get a glimpse of the determination, grit, and strength it takes to survive such conditions.
Between the pandemic and a lack of funding, it has been four years since the Surfrider Battalion has been able to send a team to compete in New Mexico. We have had a whopping 23 cadets complete the marathon locally over the past two years (some of which have done so twice!). This year, we are looking to send a team to White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico to compete in this event.
With over 30 cadets training, any financial support you can give our team would be significant and greatly appreciated. If financial support is not an option for you, taking the time to honor those who never made it through the march is as great a gift as any financial contribution you could give.
If you choose to donate to the team, you can do so on this page.
Thank you for your generosity, whether by way of reading this fundraiser or donating.