Honor was manifest in the concept of running a three-mile lap for each of the more than 1,480 Marines and Navy medics, called corpsman, killed in the Middle East.
Courage will be necessary to brave the freezing nights and long days of the 10-day tribute.
Commitment is the heart of a mission to keep a runner circling Barton Field for 24 hours; many Marines will run more than six miles a day.
“The Marine Corps is a fraternity … a band of brothers,” Marine Capt. Clinton Armstrong said Tuesday after the first runner had completed his lap and passed on the 21 rounds of ammunition that will be fired Nov. 8. “There’s no better way to honor their sacrifice.”
The last lap and closing ceremony is scheduled for 8 a.m. Nov. 8 and will be completed by all branches of service on Fort Gordon.
Staff Sgt. Chris Magliolo was the first runner on a blustery and cold Tuesday.
“It felt like running uphill the whole way,” he said.
Magliolo has participated in the run for the past three years at Fort Gordon and said it’s a unique tribute to the military. The long runs in the early morning give you time to focus on the big picture and the purpose of your service, Magliolo said.
“It really helps center you,” he said.