This year’s March of the Fallen was held in Buckeye at the Verrado Golf Club™. Over 200 ruck marchers, motivators and volunteers participated. Fellow Blue Blazer Squadron members Mauricio “Mo” Iaucelli and Joshua Abel working under the direction of SSgt Alan McMurray handled a fair amount of logistics, planning, online registration plus payment and day of the event coordination and multimedia capture. Blue Blazer Todd Hornback, Joy Rosek, Josh Swartz, and Jay Critcher along with the rest of the team at Verrado®, were instrumental in hosting the location, mapping out the hike and providing a delicious box lunch. The morning began with setup. Soon after, the participants began to arrive with their rucks and makeshift weight including salt, sand, weights, and bagged concrete. Each participant registered and ruck marchers weighed in. The volunteers led by MSgt Christine Wagner and Joy Rosek did a phenomenal job ushering everyone through registration and weigh-in. SSgt McMurray greeted everyone, shared a few words then introduced TSgt (retired) Matthew Slaydon who spoke about his experience getting blasted down range and the significance of the march. Continue reading
If you weren’t able to make the Second Annual Blue Blazer Charge, we’re officially saying that you didn’t miss anything special. We spent most of the time watching Hubbard’s home movies and filling out “TPS reports” in a plainly decorated conference room at a modest hotel.
For the rest of you, here’s a quick recap of our weekend in Vegas!
Those Blue Blazers who took the bus ride to Vegas met early at the Wigwam, and Bennett (aka “‘Mater” for his remarkable skill at driving the bus in reverse…and his occasional direction-related challenges) began the relatively quick drive to Vegas. Spirits on the bus soared as the credits to “The Great Santini” rolled and as odors from the coach’s restroom wafted.
But the best was yet to come. We met up with fellow Blue Blazers at the Walmart across from Nellis AFB, watched several fighters fly overhead, and restocked the coolers. Next stop – Red Flag!
We could not have had a better host than Col “Bart” Weed who rolled out the red carpet for the BBS. He provided an excellent briefing on the history of Red Flag, how the exercise is conducted, and the difference Red Flag has made for our airmen and international partners. He was joined by right-hand-man “Boomer” who would spend the balance of the day with us, as well.